Dallas police announce that one officer has died, two others remain in critical condition
One of two police officers shot at a Home Depot in northeast Dallas Tuesday afternoon has died, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said Wednesday morning.
Hall said officer Rogelio Santander, 27, died of his injuries at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas hospital at 8:11 a.m.
Fellow officer Crystal Almeida and Home Depot loss prevention officer Scott Painter are still in critical condition, she said.
"We come before you this morning with broken hearts and we regret to inform you that officer Rogelio Santander, badge number 10934, has succumbed to his injuries," Hall said. "We are asking that you continue to pray for the family and for the DPD family. This is going to be a trying time for us, so we're just asking for your support."
Santander is the first Dallas officer to die in the line of duty since five officers were killed in an ambush in downtown Dallas on July 7, 2016.
The shooting occurred at the Lake Highlands Home Depot in the 11600 block of Forest Central Drive off U.S. 75. The officers had responded to a call for backup to help make an arrest when they and Painter were gunned down. An off-duty Dallas officer at the Home Depot was not injured.
Hall said Almeida and Painter "are making remarkable progress."
"They are still in critical condition but we are optimistic about what we're seeing with them right now," Hall said.
Santander and Almeida both worked in the Northeast Division for three years.
They were rushed to the hospital after the shooting a little after 4 p.m., where they underwent surgery. Dozens of Dallas police officers and city leaders flooded the hospital to show their support.
The shooting suspect, 29-year-old Armando Juarez of Dallas, was arrested about five hours later after a manhunt and chase through Dallas. He faces charges in the shootings and was wanted on two previous felony theft warrants. A woman in the pickup with Juarez was also arrested.
Juarez's initial charge of attempted capital murder has been upgraded to capital murder, aggravated assault of a public servant, aggravated assault in retaliation and theft of property up to $32,000.
Dallas County Judge set his bond at $500,000 apiece for the aggrvated assault charges, $10,000 for the theft of property charge and $1 million for the capital murder charge, according to Dallas County jail records.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings first disclosed that Santander had died at a regularly scheduled city council meeting Wednesday morning.
Later, the Dallas Independent School District said Santander was a 2009 graduate of Skyline High School and expressed sorrow for his loss.
Rawlings said Tuesday night that Dallas is once again "looking into the hell of heartbreak as our Police Department was attacked this afternoon."
He added: "I am continued to be upset at the lack of respect at our police in our city and in our country."
The news of Santander's passing reverberated around the state of Texas. Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement following his death.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of the courageous Dallas PD officer, Rogelio Santander, who died today as a result of yesterday’s shooting. Please join me in praying for the officer’s family, as well as officers in Dallas and everywhere, as they mourn the loss of their colleague. May swift justice prevail and may God grant peace to those who grieve.”
On Wednesday, residents in the quiet neighborhood where Juarez was chased down were still in shock.
Scott Fausett, who lives across the street from the home where Juarez smashed his pickup into a fence and then backed into another vehicle, said he was relaxing at home when he noticed helicopters.
"We were in the hottub and we saw the helicopters circling," said Fausett. "We got out and went to the door and saw just as they were coming down the street with all the police and him."
He said he watched after Juarez' arrest as dozens of police officers combed the area until about 1:40 a.m. on Wednesday collecting evidence.
John Tinsley, 55, the owner of the vehicle that was hit by Juarez on South Versailles Avenue, said he was having dinner with a friend at the time and saw the scene unfold on his friend's phone. He said he watched as Juarez sped along the sidewalk.
"We were kind of looking at it and then when he turned on the street I said, 'I know where that is for sure,'" said Tinsley. "There's a cedar tree on the other side of that fence so that wouldn't move, and he hit it so that stopped him. Then he backed up and that's where the damage happened."
The fence next to Tinsley's property actually belongs to Central Christian Church. It surrounds the community dog park the church operates in the neighborhood.
The church's lead pastor, Ken Crawford, said a local non-profit and community member are helping rebuild the fence.
Staff writer Stephen English contributed to this report, which includes information from Star-Telegram archives.