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Garland undercover officer shoots man reaching for gun

A 20-year-old man was shot and killed by an undercover narcotics officer Wednesday during a drug case that turned violent at a Texaco gas station near the boundary shared by the cities of Dallas and Garland, police said.

Derrick Watson, the man who was shot, was taken to Baylor Medical Center, following the shooting at about 2:25 p.m. at the filling station 11700 block of Ferguson Road, just east of Interstate 635.

Watson, however, could not be saved, said Lt. Vernon Hale, Dallas police spokesman.

The undercover detective from Garland, whose "cover" was under question during the incident, said he saw Watson lift up his shirt to reach for a handgun in the waistband of his pants, Hale said.

"The detective felt in fear of his life and fired shots at the suspect, striking him in the upper torso," said Lt. Vernon Hale, Dallas police spokesman.

Just before the shooting, the undercover detective was trying to buy drugs from people who "may be connected to robberies in the city of Garland," Hale said.

During the incident, Hale said, the Garland detective was approached by a blue Kia at the gas pumps."As he approached the vehicle," Hale said, "occupants made statements concerning the detective possibly being an officer."

Two men got out of the Kia and moved toward the detective, who pulled his own gun and identified himself as an officer, Hale said.

Watson, who came to the scene in a brown pickup also moved toward the detective, Hale said.

"The detective observed him lift up his shirt and reach for a chrome pistol in his waist area," Hale said. That's when, he added, the detective opened fire on Watson.

Dallas police were investigating the shooting because it happened on their side of the boundary, said Officer Joe Harn, Garland police spokesman.

He said there was no jurisdictional issue for the Garland officer to be operating in Dallas.

Garland police arrested Watson twice in 2008, Harn said, once in March for possession of drug paraphernalia and again in June for possession of marijuana.

The Kia, Hale said, had been stolen in an aggravated robbery in Dallas the day before the Garland shooting. That robbery happened in the 11400 block of Woodmeadow Parkway, which is about a block southeast of the Texaco Station.

Garland police arrested two other people at the scene, Harn said.

Included was Kiilu Shabazz II, 30, for possession of cocaine, and a 16-year-old juvenile for evading arrest, Harn said.

He declined to release the teenager's name because he is a juvenile. He added that no bond had yet been set by mid-afternoon Thursday for Shabazz.

The officer is a 16-year veteran of the Garland Police Department, Hale said.

Harn noted Thursday that the officer was placed on "paid administrative leave" which, he added, "is normal."

"Our internal affairs will do an investigation, as they normally do," Harn said.