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Caldwell Co. Deputy shot multiple times in Dale, two people detained

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office says one deputy was shot after responding to a call for service on Hidden Oak Road in the Dale, Texas area around midnight. (CBS Austin)

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office says one deputy was shot after responding to a call for service on Hidden Oak Road in the Dale, Texas area around midnight.

The deputy suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to an area hospital where they underwent multiple surgeries. People who live in the area said they heard the gunshots but avoided the scene. They described the rural road as a quiet place where people keep to themselves.

"I’ve been living here a little bit over five years and this is the first time that anything like this ever happened," said Joe de la Cruz.

Two suspects were taken into custody but their names and charges haven't been released. It's a stark reminded that no matter the city size, law enforcement jobs can be dangerous every day.

"Officers in a rural area, even though they face the same danger, they’re probably lulled to sleep by the fact they’re not used as to SWAT raids or crime from national gangs that might be in an urban center," explained Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas Executive Director Charley Wilkison.

The Texas Rangers are taking over the investigation. For a small department, investigating the shooting of one of their own can be all-consuming.

"It's very typical for Texas Rangers to investigate in a rural area. They are the muscle that stretches between agencies and departments. They're going to have the resources to come in whereas a smaller department would not immediately have that," said Wilkison.

The lack of resources and manpower is one problem law enforcement agencies throughout the country are experiencing now, in both rural and urban departments.

But for situations like this shooting, rural departments especially feel this effect.

"It's unfortunate. We're stretched so thin in law enforcement in Texas, you're not going to have immediate backup regardless of where you are," Wilkison said.

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said they aren't ready to release the name of the deputy who was shot. DPS said they had critical injuries but was stable after surgery.

No further information was provided. This is an ongoing investigation.

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