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Dallas officer fatally shoots man during struggle

A Dallas police officer, who was beaten in the head late Tuesday by a suspect involved in a brief chase, shot the man and killed him, a police spokesman said.

The incident began around 11:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 4500 block of South Lancaster Road, said Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse, the spokesman. The area is near the Veterans Administration hospital in Dallas.

The police officer was stopped at a traffic signal, with another car alongside him, Janse said.

"As he was stopped for the light, he observed a blue Mercedes traveling over the speed limit collide with the rear end of the civilian vehicle," Janse said.

The driver of the car complained of injuries, but Janse said he didn't know if the man had to go to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes sped off, and about three blocks later, two men jumped out of it while it was still moving, Janse said.

The car went over a curb, "finally stopping in the 4800 block of South Lancaster," Janse said.

The driver of the Mercedes got out as the officer exited his patrol car, Janse said.

"(The) officer was then going to place (the) suspect under arrest," Janse said. "At that moment a struggle ensued in which (the) officer was struck three times in the head."

Janse said the suspect was 6-feet-3-inches tall and 240 pounds.

"Fearing that he was about to go unconscious from the blows to his head, (the) officer felt in fear of his life and fired, striking the suspect," Janse said.

The man was identified as Derrick Jones, 31, of Dallas by the Dallas County medical examiner's office.

One of the other men who fled was caught at the scene, and the other man returned to the scene after police arrived.

"These individuals informed officers they jumped from the vehicle as (the) suspect (was) driving erratically," Janse said.