On Dec 18th, 2004 Deputy Robert Hedman and his partner Sgt Billy Anders, both working for the Otero County Sheriff’s Dept in New Mexico, responded to a call of a shooting.
When deputies went to the front door of the home, a man answered and refused to let them enter. Robert Hedman then went to the back of the house, where he was shot by Earl Flippen.When Robert Hedman?s partner moved toward the back of the home, Flippen started shooting at him, but the deputy returned fire and killed Flippen.
This was the first time since 1898 that a deputy was killed in the line of duty in Otero County, Blansett said.
On Dec. 18, suspect Earl Flippen shot and killed Deputy Robert Hedman as Hedman and his partner, Sgt. Billy Anders, responded to a reported shooting at a house 10 miles outside Cloudcroft. Flippen, who is believed to have killed his pregnant girlfriend inside their rented home, fatally shot Hedman as the deputy approached the back door of the house.
Police have said that Flippen then walked around the side of the house toward the front, exchanged fire with Anders and was fatally shot.
A little bit more on the incident:
He and Deputy Robert Hedman, responding to calls about gunshots, questioned Flippen and noticed blood on the floor, state police said. He refused to let them in, so Anders went to a patrol car to call for help and Hedman went to the rear of the house.
Flippen shot Hedman, 53, in the head behind the house, state police said. They said Anders then encountered Flippen near the front of the house and that Flippen was killed in an exchange of gunfire.
The body of Flippen’s pregnant girlfriend, Deborah Rhoudes, 30, was found in a closet.
In fact there was a 3 year old girl in the house who was the only survivor. Flippen shot his pregnant girlfriend dead and then shot Deputy Hedman to death. He starts walking to the front of the house where Hedman’s partner engages the suspect and kills him. Firing 4 shots. Now this on Tues:
A grand jury on Tuesday indicted Anders in the Dec. 18 shooting death of Earl Flippen, 38.
State police have said Flippen died in an exchange of gunfire with Anders outside a home east of Cloudcroft.
The news in the area is reporting that they believe Anders handcuffed the suspect and then killed him, which is just an incredible story. This guy shot Hedman in the head then went to the front of the house and gave up? Anders handcuffs him and then shoots him? Doubt it very much. There is a tape involved so I will withhold judgement, maybe Anders got in the shootout and handcuffed the suspect then after finding his partner dead he went and pumped a few more in him…seems kinda farfetched to me but who knows.
Deputy Hedman was a career military officer:
Hedman was born July 2, 1955, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
He served in the Army for 21 years, retiring in 1994 as a staff sergeant. A military policeman and member of Special Forces, Hedman was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service.
After retiring from the military, Hedman served as a police officer in Tularosa for one year and as a deputy sheriff for a year in Lincoln County before moving to Alamogordo Department of Public Safety. From ADPS he moved to the Otero County Sheriff?s Department where he was a deputy for two years.
?Bob had been with us for two years and three months,? said Otero County Sheriff John Blansett on Tuesday. ?And he?d been working the mountains for us for about a year.?
?He was very caring,? Blansett said. ?Bob was very dedicated and well-respected by the citizens in the mountain communities and his peers. He was the type of guy who had a lot of his own projects going on.?
Hedman was in the process of building a home in the mountains at the time of his death, Blansett said.
?He liked to work on his John Deere tractors and he was building that home in the mountains,? said Blansett. ?That took a lot of his time.?
Despite the time required for his job and working on his home, Hedman also found time to work with his wife, Cheryl, on his days off at the Alamorosa restaurant the couple leased.
?Bob was a good guy,? Blansett said, ?a good worker, very dedicated. He was always wanting to be the point man.?
According to Alamogordo Department of Public Safety Police Chief Sam Trujillo, Hedman was an important part of his department during his five years with the agency. Hedman worked at ADPS from 1994-1999, Trujillo said.
?I have tremendous respect for anyone who puts on a badge and risks their life for the benefit of others. Bob Hedman will be missed.?
A crisis fund for Hedman?s family has been set up at First National Bank in Alamogordo. According to the bank, the account titled the ?Robert Hedman Benefit Account? is open for any donations which the public may wish to make.
God Bless Deputy Hedman, you are a true hero.