(CLAYTON, OKLAHOMA) -- A Pushmataha county community is in shock after learning one of their own is believed to have killed a Killeen police officer and was then killed by police.
Those who knew Dustin Cole best say they can't reconcile the image of a cop-killing soldier with the man they grew up with.
Hearts are heavy in Cole's hometown of Clayton, the 24-year-old Fort Hood soldier is believed to have opened fire on two Killeen police officers with an AK-47, killing Officer Robert Hornsby. The Swat team returned fire, killing Cole.
Jerry Alexander thought of Cole as a son and has fond memories of the last time he saw him." he was a young man..a good young man..that's what I saw in him...the last time I saw him he was smiling..laughing..he was pretty happy."
Alexander is trying to piece together why and how this could have happened.
" I just don't know..there's no answers..i can only assume and i'd rather not assume because I want to remember Dustin like he was the last time I saw him.... He was smiling..I shook his hand and told him how proud I was."
He's not the only one who just can't believe what's happened, "shocking...it kinda just hit me and hit the rest of the community..it hurt everyone here..it's hard for all of us," says Jerry Alexander II, a childhood friend of Cole's.
Cole attended Clayton High School and his parents currently live in Talahina. He served two tours in Iraq, the most recent ended in February. Fort hood's public affairs division refused comment on the incident, but Killeen police are investigating.
Cole's family requests privacy as they prepare to bury their son.