Perry's Cousin Killed By Deputies
Larry Don Wheeler Exchanged Gunfire With Lawmen
POSTED: Friday, October 2, 2009
UPDATED: 11:22 am CDT October 2, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- A cousin of Texas Gov. Rick Perry was shot and killed over the weekend in his back yard during an exchange of gunfire with sheriff's deputies. Perry said the death is tragic but stresses that he hardly knew 74-year-old Larry Don Wheeler, a distant cousin on his grandmother's side.
"I'm not sure I would pick him out of a lineup," Perry said. Wheeler was listed as a member of Perry's 2006 re-election steering committee.
A family attorney said the retired social worker was sitting on his backyard deck Saturday night at his home at a Montague County country club when two sheriff's deputies showed up in response to a disturbance call.
Sheriff Paul Cunningham said his department received a report of a man with a shotgun.
What happened next is unclear and under investigation. After an exchange of gunfire, Wheeler was dead and a deputy was shot in the hand.
An autopsy is pending, and the Texas Rangers are investigating at Cunningham's request.
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