Crime

Police identify wounded suspect in Hurst gunbattle

Melvin Mitchell, 22, of Fort Worth
Melvin Mitchell, 22, of Fort Worth Courtesy

A robbery suspect accused of getting into a gunfight with a homeowner last week has been identified as Melvin Mitchell of Fort Worth, police said Monday.

Mitchell, 22, is suspected of robbing Norwood Quick Stop on Thursday night and then getting into a running gunbattle with a 39-year-old homeowner who lives near the store. Mitchell got into a car with a passenger, Djuane Mitchell, 20, and drove away from the neighborhood as he exchanged gunfire with the homeowner, whom police did not identify.

The homeowner was wounded but survived. Djuane Mitchell was wounded and later died.

Melvin Mitchell was in the Tarrant County Jail on Monday, facing charges of aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police said that Melvin Mitchell and Djuane Mitchell were not related.

No charges have been filed against the homeowner, but the case will be turned over to the Tarrant County district attorney’s office for consideration, Hurst Assistant Police Chief Richard Winstanley said.

The incident occurred about 8:15 p.m. Thursday, police reported.

The Hurst homeowner was on his back porch with a friend when he saw a vehicle park at a dead-end street off the 100 block of Charlene Drive. The homeowner, who had been a victim of thefts and burglaries in the past, got a rifle after he saw that a man had gotten out of the vehicle and was walking through a dark field near his back yard.

Unbeknownst to the Hurst homeowner, the man had walked from the vehicle to Norwood Quick Stop in the 200 block of Norwood Drive and pointed a gun at a customer standing outside, police said. The robber herded the customer into the store, demanded money from a clerk and took an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

“As he exited, he pointed his gun at two customers and threatened them,” Winstanley said. The robber then headed back to his vehicle.

The armed homeowner was standing in his back yard when he saw the robber walking back to the vehicle.

“The homeowner said something like ‘What are you doing?’ and the suspect fired,” Winstanley said. The resident was hit, retreated to his back porch and started shooting.

The gunfight continued as the wounded suspect got into a vehicle and drove away.

The two customers who were threatened at the store saw the vehicle speeding away from the neighborhood, got into their vehicle and chased it for a short distance until they lost sight of it, police said Monday.

Minutes later, Euless police responded to a call about a gunshot victim in the 3000 block of Sycamore Circle West in Euless.

After the gunfight, Mitchell had driven to a Euless apartment complex and sought medical help from family members, authorities said. When police arrived, they found him there, injured, and Djuane Mitchell dead.

“At this time, we don’t believe he [Djuane Mitchell] fired a weapon during the gunbattle,” Winstanley said Monday. “We believe he was a passenger in the car.”

Melvin Mitchell was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he was treated and released.

He is a suspect in four holdups in Euless and now faces charges in the Hurst case, Hurst and Euless police said. He was in the Tarrant County Jail on Monday with bail set at $125,000.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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