Keller police shoot shoplifting suspect

Posted Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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KELLER -- A shoplifting suspect was shot four times by a police officer and later died. The man lunged at the officer and tried to take his weapon as he was being arrested Thursday afternoon inside a Kohl's department store.

The suspect was transported by helicopter ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he later died. His identity was not released pending notification of family. Police said he appeared to about 40 years old.

The officer, Johnathan Hicks, a 10-year-veteran with the Keller Police Department, was treated at a local hospital for the injuries he received while fighting with the suspect, officials said.

No other injuries were reported.

Keller police were called about 4 p.m. to the store on U.S. 377, near North Tarrant Parkway, where the suspect was being detained by in-house security officers.

The shooting occurred as the Keller police officer tried to arrest the man, who then lunged at the officer. A struggle ensued and the man tried numerous times to grab the officer's gun, Police Chief Mark Hafner said.

Hafner said the man was yelling threats as they fought, saying he was going to kill the officer.

Shoppers were in the store as the officer struggled with the suspect and witnesses told police that the man claimed to have a weapon. It was later discovered that he was unarmed.

"The officer felt like his life was in jeopardy," Hafner said.

As the shooting was being investigated, shoppers arrived at the store to find an empty parking lot and crime scene tape covering the store's entrance. Despite more than seven patrol cars on scene and the crime scene tape, one man still tried to enter the store to shop but was told by police the store was closed.

Store employees were escorted out by management and told not to talk with the media.

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