Police pursuit starts with traffic stop in Grand Prairie, ends in man’s shooting death

Police shot and killed a man who led officers on a chase that began in Grand Prairie and ended in Cedar Hill.

Officers in Grand Prairie tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation about 10:40 p.m. Thursday and the driver sped away, a news release from the Grand Prairie Police Department said.

Officers chased the vehicle into Cedar Hill, where the driver stopped near the intersection of U.S. 67 and Belt Line Road, according to police.

The man was identified as 37-year-old Jorge Merino by the Dallas County medical examiner.

After a brief standoff, Merino, who was alone in the vehicle, was seen displaying a handgun in a threatening manner and officers said they were in fear for their lives, the release said. A single Grand Prairie officer fired his gun, police said.

Cedar Hill emergency medical personnel responded and pronounced Merino dead at the scene, police said. No officers were injured.

Because the shooting occurred in Cedar Hill, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office will conduct an independent investigation of this incident, which is standard protocol, police said.

The Grand Prairie Police Department’s professional standards unit will conduct an administrative investigation, according to police officials.

The officer who fired the service weapon has been placed on administrative leave, which is departmental policy, police said.

A handgun was recovered during a search of the area, according to police.

Police are not certain what speeds were attained during the chase, according to a police official.

Star-Telegram reporter Kaley Johnson contributed to this story.

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Mitch Mitchell is an award-winning reporter covering courts and crime for the Star-Telegram. Additionally, Mitch’s past coverage on municipal government, healthcare and social services beats allow him to bring experience and context to the stories he writes.