Midland County Sheriff's Office Mourns Their First Fallen Deputy - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Midland County Sheriff's Office Mourns Their First Fallen Deputy

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - When deputies walked into the hospital wearing their white gloves, we had an idea.

But it was after officials choked out that Midland County Deputy Michael Naylor had been taken off of life support that we knew.

Naylor had passed away after a shooting Thursday afternoon.

Naylor took a fatal shot to the head as he was trying to take in a suspect accused of being a child sex predator. Soon after he was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

"We were born to die. Sometimes it's not our choice. And it certainly wasn't Mike's. He loved life. Had a beautiful wife, wonderful family, a bunch of good dogs, horses. He loved life!" Sheriff Gary Painter remembered.

This is the first fallen deputy in Midland County's history. Now the office is trying to make sense of what to do next. And those close to him are trying to convince themselves it will be okay.

"It's going to be a hard next few days," Sheriff Painter said. "But we'll get through it. God's grace and God's blessing we'll get through it, we'll make it." 

He added that the only thing he's certain of, is that Naylor was, and according to the sheriff, is a great man. Naylor spent most of his life serving others. He was in the U.S. Airforce where he went overseas a few times, and locally, he said Naylor was wholeheartedly involved in the mental health unit and actually helped create it.  

"He went all over the place trying to help people that were in mental crisis. A lot of people in this community knew him. He would respond at any time day or night," he said.

Authorities from agencies across the Basin came by to show their support.  

"We have close contact with all of them. And they're good people. My God we're good family. It's just, it's hard," Painter said.

For now the office is preparing to send Naylor's body to Fort Worth for an autopsy, but they said they'll have him returned back home for proper burial and services. Funeral information is still pending. In the meantime, authorities are just concerned about those Naylor left behind.

"We'd ask the people to keep his family in their prayers they're gonna need it, he said."

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