Liberty County deputy constables recognized for efforts to save sheriff’s deputy

Pct. 5 Deputy Constable Laci Pierce is presented a firearm that was part of a commendation from the 100 Club of Houston. She was honored for the heroic and lifesaving efforts she performed on Liberty County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Whitten when he was shot in the line of duty last May. Whitten has since passed on as a result of his injuries. Pierce is a trained medic with a military background.

The 100 Club of Houston selected Liberty County Pct. 5 deputy constables Laci Pierce and Brian Bortz as honorees for this year’s Annual Heroes Awards. The honors, which include the presentation of a firearm and a plaque, were made in late May.

Pierce and Bortz were among the initial law enforcement response following the May 29, 2019, shooting of Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Whitten. The deputy constables are credited with providing lifesaving efforts and keeping Whitten safe until the shooting scene was secure and medical personnel could attend to his injuries.

Whitten was shot in the neck as he tried to apprehend a murder suspect who had already killed two people at a plumbing shop in Cleveland. The murder suspect later killed himself as law enforcement personnel closed in to make his arrest.

Pct. 5 Deputy Constable Brian Bortz (right) accepts a firearm that is part of a commendation from the 100 Club of Houston. Bortz received the commendation for his heroic response to an officer-involved shooting last May in which Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Whitten was shot. Whitten has since succumbed to his injury.

In March 2020, Whitten became the shooter’s third victim when he suffered a heart attack during physical therapy.

Pct. 5 Deputy Constable David Hunter said he is continuously proud of his deputy constables as they are both valued members of his team.

“I am honored that they had the training and the skills to be able to perform the duties that saved a fellow officer’s life,” Hunter said. “They were selfless. They risked their own lives to save his. I am very proud of both of them. Their skills as a medic and officer were invaluable to Deputy Whitten that day. Too many times, in this line of work, officers are scrutinized about what we do wrong, but not congratulated for all the things we do right. I’m very proud of all my crew at Pct. 5 for always taking care of our citizens and community, and for exceeding at times like this.”

Hunter said the award presentation would have been much sweeter if they could have accepted it alongside Deputy Whitten.

“We are so saddened that our brother Whitten was not physically standing here with them to receive his award as well but we know he was watching from above. Please pray for his family for their tragic loss. Our brother will be missed but never forgotten,” Hunter said.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


  1. From Tom Woods: Just wanted to thank you for extending my nephew’s life he would not have that extra time one for you and the fellow officers that were there to saving that person might have finished him off is very proud of my nephew anyway from the woods family thank you so much

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