Nov. 18, 2007, 11:27PM Veteran HPD officer found dead at home Officials say he likely was cleaning his gun and it discharged Houston Chronicle - A veteran Houston police officer died in his southwest Houston home Sunday morning from a gunshot wound he appeared to have suffered while cleaning his weapon. Family members discovered 47-year-old Donald Lynn DeBlanc about 11 a.m. in the kitchen of the home in the 11000 block of Wainfleet, police said. "There are multiple weapons, cleaning equipment and so forth all laid out on a kitchen table where the officer was found," HPD spokesman Sgt. Nate McDuell said. "It's likely that this could be just a tragic accident." DeBlanc, a Fifth Ward native, joined the Houston Police Department in 1983, after serving as a military policeman in the Army. He was described by friends and co-workers as a big bear and a happy-go-lucky man. "He was a very well-liked officer. He had many friends on the force," McDuell said. DeBlanc, who recently learned that he'd earned a transfer to the HPD Homicide Division, graduated from Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was considering practicing law when he retired in a few years, said his friend Clarence Walker, 45. DeBlanc made an unsuccessful bid for Harris County constable in 2004. His twin brother, Paul, is a pastor in northwest Houston. Shot Katrina evacuee Walker, a freelance journalist with True Crime magazine, met DeBlanc while writing about the 1985 case of Oscar McBride, a four-time ex-convict sentenced to life in prison for killing his teenage daughter to prevent her from testifying against him on charges that he sexually molested her. DeBlanc and Walker became close friends, Walker said. "Even when he wasn't working, he loved to go to court, loved the law," Walker said. DeBlanc made headlines last year when he fatally shot a Katrina evacuee on May 11, 2006, during an undercover investigation of a drug-dealing complaint at a Montrose-area apartment. William Petty, 29, died after being shot in the abdomen by DeBlanc. Petty was later determined to be holding a toy gun. "He told me that he actually talked to (Petty) before he died. It really shook him up," Walker said.