Crime

Arlington officer accidentally kills woman while shooting at running dog, police say

An Arlington police officer on Thursday fatally shot a woman who was lying in grass as he fired upon a running, barking dog near her, the police department said.

The officer who accidentally killed Margarita Brooks, 30, had been dispatched to check on her welfare, according to accounts from police and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

When the officer found Brooks near Cantor Drive and North Collins Street, an unrestrained dog was with her, police said. The location is near a fence line and woods behind a shopping center.

As the officer called out to Brooks, the barking dog ran toward the officer, police said.

The officer retreated, then fired multiple times toward the dog, police said. Brooks yelled, and it became clear that she had been shot.

Brooks’ acquaintances said she was known as Maggie and was a regular in the area of the Seville Commons shopping center where she was shot. She was often with her boyfriend and a dog. They were homeless, the acquaintances said.

Brooks was taken to Medical City Arlington Hospital and pronounced dead about 6 p.m. Her name was released by the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy is pending to confirm the cause of her death.

The shooting was recorded on video by the officer’s body camera, which will be reviewed during an investigation, police said.

The patrol officer, whose name and age the department did not release, is assigned to the North District.

The officer had been sent to check on Brooks because a person called 911 and reported about 5:15 p.m. that a woman was passed out in the grass, police said. The city’s fire department and paramedics were also dispatched to check her welfare.

The first officer arrived around 5:20 p.m. and he and the other personnel could not initially find Brooks, police said. The caller contacted the officer and directed he and the others to the location where she was last seen.

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