Sgt. Craig Hutchinson of the Travis County Sheriff's Office used his police radio around 1:30 a.m. to report people in his backyard. Investigators arriving moments later found Hutchinson lying on the ground in his backyard in Round Rock, about 15 miles from Austin.
He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
RAW VIDEO: SWAT situation underway in Round Rock
Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton said at a news conference that no arrests have been made but that authorities are seeking multiple suspects. He said there was evidence that the incident was an attempted robbery of Hutchinson's backyard shed, rather than someone targeting a law enforcement officer.
Tensions remain high following the fatal shooting earlier this month of five police officers in Dallas and the ambush and killing of three law enforcement officers in Louisiana.
"There's no suggestion that this was an ambush," Hamilton said. "I heard that there's a lot of burglaries going on in this community, and I think this was just one of the burglaries."
Working w/ multiple agencies on an active scene near McNeil Road & E. Messick Lp. Avoid area & choose an alt route. pic.twitter.com/doCEOQHYiA— Round Rock Police (@roundrockpolice) July 25, 2016
He said investigators believed items were taken from Hutchinson's shed and that the officer may have "seen individuals in the shed, and I think that's where the confrontation occurred."
Hutchinson was a 32-year veteran who had planned to retire in September. Hamilton said Hutchison served as his field training officer and "taught me everything I know."
"This is near and dear to me," Hamilton said. "This guy was a big teddy bear and everyone loved him."
The block where the shooting occurred remained ringed with yellow tape - and red tape surrounded Hutchison's home down the street - for hours after the shooting. Investigators could be seen working in the area around the home.
Police briefly closed portions of Interstate 35 heading into Austin as a long procession of police cars accompanied Hutchinson's body to the medical examiner's office.
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