Fort Worth

December 28, 2013

Robbery suspect didn’t fire at pursuing officers, Fort Worth police say

Fort Worth police responding to one robbery call on East Lancaster Avenue Friday night chased a man as he left a second auto parts store that had just been held up, police report.

When a robbery suspect’s gun went off as he ran from police Friday night, officers thought he was shooting at them.

They later decided that the gun fired accidentally, Sgt. Kelly Peel, a police spokesman, said Saturday.

Christian Stephens, 23, of Fort Worth was arrested after the foot chase and remained in the Fort Worth Jail on Saturday night. No bail had been set, according to the jail website.

Shortly after 8 p.m., officers were responding to a 911 call about a robbery at the AutoZone store at 4331 E. Lancaster Ave. when they saw Stephens coming out of the O’Reilly Auto Parts store at 4425 E. Lancaster Ave., Peel said in an email.

They ran after Stephens and during the chase, “the suspect discharged his handgun,” Peel said. “It was first thought that the suspect fired upon officers, but this was later determined to be a negligent discharge.”

Stephens was caught without anyone being shot. He faces two charges of aggravated robbery and one of evading arrest.

“The money from both robberies and the suspect weapon have been recovered,” Peel said.

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