Garrett Hull became the 58th Fort Worth police officer to die in the line of duty when he was pronounced dead Friday night at John Peter Smith Hospital.
“There’s not a dry eye in this house,” Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said at a news conference at the hospital that began just before midnight. “Our whole department is hurting right now.”
Hull, who has been called a hero and the cement of his unit by police, was apprehending robbery suspects early Friday morning at a bar in south Fort Worth when one of the suspects, believed to be Dacion Steptoe, shot him in the forehead.
Steptoe was shot and killed by Hull’s fellow officers. Two other suspects, Samuel Mayfield, 23, and Timothy Huff, 33, are in jail and face charges of capital murder.
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Hull is the first Fort Worth officer to die on the job since Dwayne N. Freeto died after his patrol car was hit by a drunken driver on Dec. 17, 2006, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Officer Henry “Hank” Nava was shot and killed the previous December.
In all, 26 Fort Worth police officers have been killed by intentional gunfire over the history of the department, and another two have been killed by accidental gunfire.
The first Fort Worth officer to die in the line of duty was C. Lee Waller, who was killed in gunfire in 1892.
The vast majority of Fort Worth officers to have fallen in the line of duty died in shootings. Other officers have died after being struck, either intentionally or unintentionally, with vehicles; after being involved in traffic collisions; after being assaulted and in other manners.