A confrontation with a group of armed robbery suspects ended with a Fort Worth police officer shot and in critical condition, CBS Dallas reported.
Undercover Officer Garrett Hull was shot just after midnight outside the Los Vaqueros bar in the 400 block of Biddison Street.
According to police, officers had a group of suspects under surveillance at the bar when the suspects actually committed a robbery.
When the suspects ran out of the bar uniformed officers were waiting, and helped the undercover officers stop the robbers as they tried to get into an SUV. It was then that one of the suspects opened fire.
Chief Fitzgerald said, “In their attempt to try to apprehend the three people that were robbing the bar, one of the people exchanged gunfire with my officers and that gunfire struck one of the officer’s in his forehead.”
(credit: Fort Worth Police Department)
Officers returned fire, shooting and killing the gunman. The two other suspects, a man and a woman, ran from the scene but were quickly caught and arrested.
Immediately after the gunfire several officers at the scene sprung into action to help Officer Hull. “In the midst of it… the officers involved in the active scene actually extricated the officer who was struck in the head and got him here to JPS Hospital,” explained Chief Fitzgerald.
Those officers rushed Hull to the hospital in a squad car.
Victor Zepeda, the owner of Los Vaqueros, went to work last night with his guard up. “We just knew that they [suspects] had been robbing the bars out here in the area,” he said.
According to Zepeda, there were between 25 and 30 people were hanging out at the bar when two men burst in wearing masks. “We were here and they just bum rushed the bar, told us to hit the floor and had the guns out.”
Customers inside at the time said the suspects demanded wallets and cell phones from and nobody refused.
The suspects are believed to be responsible for a number of robberies across the metroplex. Robberies that before this morning had left three other people shot.
“It’s not a fair tradeoff. It’s not a fair tradeoff at all. We have an officer fighting for his life right now for some guys that thought it was easy to go out and rob stores here in the city of Fort Worth and the North Texas region,” said Chief Fitzgerald. “I thank all the law enforcement out here and the great response we’re getting tell them that this isn’t what happens here. We’re not gonna allow that kind of behavior.”
Officer Hull has 17 years of service with the Fort Worth Police Department and has been in law enforcement for 19 years. His fellow officers describe him as a man of strong character who is well loved.
“We get a lot of support from the citizens of Fort Worth,” Sgt. Chris Britt said. “We want those citizens to pray for us, think about us, because we’ve got an officer right now that’s going to need it. We’ve got family of an officer that’s going to need it, and we’ve got a department that’s hurting quite a bit.”
Hundreds of police officers, from across the region, made their way to JPS Hospital Friday to support the Hull family and members of the Fort Worth Police Department.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said, “As we all slept and as we go about our morning of getting up and going to work you have to remember that these young men and women, who are fighting for us, are going out so that we can go to work and sleep safely and sleep sound. They indeed are our heroes.”
The name of the suspect shot and killed has not been released. and there’s no word on what charges the other suspects arrested are facing.
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