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Wood described McLelland as a friend and colleague and said he and McLelland had spoken regularly about Hasse and the investigation.
“This is not just an attack on two very fine people, but an attack on the justice system,” Wood told Reuters.
“I can’t fathom someone doing this,” Wood said. “It is completely senseless, and completely out of the blue. Perhaps it is retaliation, but we won’t know that until someone is caught.”
McLelland, a 23-year U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, had five children, including a son who is an officer with the Dallas Police Department, according to a county website.
Authorities have made no arrests in Hasse’s killing. McLelland had vowed to bring his killer to justice.
Last month, the Hasse case took a turn when the Kaufman police chief said the FBI was looking for any link between Hasse’s death and the March 19 shooting death of Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements.
Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a Colorado prison parolee suspected of killing Clements, died in a shootout with police in Decatur, Texas, on March 21. Ebel was a member of a white supremacist prison gang called the 211 Crew and had a swastika tattoo, prison records indicate.
Wood said investigators found no link between the shooting death of Clements and the killing of Hasse.
The Dallas Morning News said the Texas Department of Public Safety had issued a statewide bulletin in December warning that authorities had received “credible information” the Aryan Brotherhood was “actively planning retaliation against law enforcement officials” who helped secure indictments in Houston against dozens of members, including the gang’s leadership.
More recently, the Department of Public Safety had identified brutal Mexican drug cartels as threats to law enforcement officials in Texas.
“The Mexican cartels are the most significant organized crime threat to Texas, with six of the eight cartels having command and control networks operating in the state,” the department said in a February report.