He came out of the house holding a child and a gun. He wanted to be shot, police say

Grand Prairie police say a 3-year-old boy accidentally drowned in a swimming pool Thursday.
Grand Prairie police say a 3-year-old boy accidentally drowned in a swimming pool Thursday. Photo: Grand Prairie police

A man who came out of a house early Saturday morning holding a child and a shotgun was trying to get himself killed by officers, police said in a news release.

The incident happened at about 3:30 a.m. in the 4800 block of Autumn Hill, north of Joe Pool Lake.

Dispatched to a report of a person with a weapon, police said the suspect, 34-year-old Daniel Benitez, emerged from a residence holding the child and the weapon.

Officers were able to talk Benitez into releasing the child, who was unhurt, police said.

Benitez then retreated briefly into the house before coming back outside with the shotgun pointed at the officers, police said.

Fearful for their lives, the unnamed officers fired and struck him, then rendered aid until an ambulance could arrive.

Benitez was transported to a local hospital and expected to survive his injuries, police said.

Witnesses told detectives that Benitez was trying to commit “suicide by cop,” police said.

The officers were placed on administrative leave, which is routine in officer-involved shootings, spokesman Mark Beseda said.

Beseda said he didn’t know how many officers were involved in the shooting Saturday morning.

He said detectives weren’t ready to release information regarding the child and what relationship he or she may have with Benitez.

Calls to 911 came from several locations, including inside the house that Benitez was staying in, Beseda said.

Two officers were placed on leave due to the shooting, Beseda said.

Stephen English: 817-390-7330, @sbenglish74

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Stephen English covers breaking news for the Star-Telegram. He attended Texas Wesleyan University and has lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for more than 30 years.