FORT WORTH — The suspected get-away driver involved in a shoplifting incident Wednesday night that left an accomplice dead was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with the case , police said.
Juan Antonio Nunez, 33, faces a charge of aggravated assault on a public servant.
Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman, say Nunez was driving a Ford Ranger pickup that Judas Lozano-Garza, 32, attempted to escape in after stealing meat from the Sack-N-Save grocery store at 3451 Altamesa Blvd. A manager followed Lozano-Garza outside and attempted to grab the man through the passenger side window when police say Nunez put the car into gear.
An off-duty John Peter Smith Hospital police officer, identified in a police report as J. Campbell, was working security at the store and rounded the store’s corner with his weapon drawn. Henderson said the officer fired at the pickup after the driver accelerated toward him. The gunshot entered through the passenger window, striking Lozano-Garza, Henderson said.
The pickup continued through the parking lot, fleeing north on Altamesa.
Police believe Nunez then dropped off Lozano-Garza and a woman who had also been inside the pickup at the time of the shooting at Huguley Memorial Medical Center before speeding off. Lozano-Garza was pronounced dead at 8:56 p.m. from his injuries.
Early Tuesday, investigators located Nunez and the Ford Ranger believed used in the shoplifting in the 1600 block of Washington Avenue. Evidence seized included packaged meat believed stolen from the store, Henderson said.
Henderson said the woman who had been present inside the pickup is not expected to face criminal charges. Police on Monday were looking for the pickup and at least one other person who was riding in it. It was unclear on Tuesday if the man who died at the hospital arrived in that truck or another vehicle.
"We want to look at the vehicle, but I don't think it's going to be that difficult to track down," said Lt. Jimmy McCarthy, a police spokesman.
Staff Writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.