Police officers in Fort Worth fatally shot an alleged armed suspect during a traffic stop on Wednesday afternoon in north Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Police Sgt. Chris Britt said the shooting occurred about 3 p.m. in the Presidio Junction Shopping Center, in the 3000 block of North Tarrant Parkway.
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Britt said that before the traffic stop, officers were dispatched to an unidentified business on Fossil Bluff Drive on a domestic-related 911 call . The call details indicated that an employee’s ex-boyfriend was at the location and had threatened her with a weapon.
“The call details said that the potential suspect was displaying a handgun,” said Britt. “The officers, once they got on scene, were able to locate that suspect and follow him to this location where they stopped him to investigate the disturbance.”
The suspect, who is only being identified by police as a white adult male, was driving a red Chevrolet Silverado pickup and turned into the shopping center parking lot near a Raising Cane’s restaurant.
Britt said the suspect exited the vehicle and began to approach the four officers who were waiting to talk to him. The officers gave verbal commands to the suspect to stop, but Britt said he continued to move toward officers.
“During this encounter the suspect did display a handgun,” said Britt. “Officers fired, striking the suspect. I don’t know what movements he displayed, but I do know that officers did see a weapon. At that point they felt in danger for their lives, and that’s why they fired their weapons.”
The officers started first aid and MedStar transported the suspect to John Peter Smith Hospital, where Britt said he later died.
One witness, 18-year-old Alex Wall, said she was sitting in her car in the drive-through at Raising Cane’s when the incident unfolded.
“It was really scary. I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Wall. “I was really the only person around 'cause I looked around and there was nobody else. I was just like, 'Did that just happen?'”
She said from what she could see from her car, it looked as if the suspect did not obey the officers' commands.
“He wasn’t listening to them. It wasn’t like the cops' fault,” said Wall. “He was walking really fast. Because at first he was walking really slow with his hands up, then he started putting his hands down and looking at them. And he just starts walking up to them really fast and then pulls his gun out.”
She said it was unclear how many shots were fired, but she quickly began recording the incident with her cellphone moments afterward. The 9-second video clip shows four officers putting their guns into their holsters and approaching the man while he is on the ground.
“I was so scared. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I just really saw that,'” Wall said. “Then they were giving him CPR and started pushing his chest down and took his shirt off and everything. Then people started driving up and started taking videos with their phones.”
Britt said the man will be identified by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office. None of the officers were injured and there were body cameras worn by the officers but it is not known what the cameras captured at present. The shooting remains under investigation by the police department's Major Case unit.
The four officers involved in the shooting have been placed on routine administrative leave, police said.