By Bill Miller
FORT WORTH — A 21-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department was in serious condition late Tuesday at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital after he was shot by a man fleeing police, authorities said.
The officer was not immediately identified. WFAA/Channel 8 reported that sources said he had been shot three times, but Officer Sharron Neal, a police spokeswoman, said she did not have that information.
Earlier, his condition was listed as critical, but Neal said at 9:35 p.m. that the officer had been upgraded to “serious” condition.
The shooting occurred shortly before 5 p.m. while two Fort Worth officers were visiting with a business owner in the 1900 block of Carson Street in Haltom City. The area is just south of Carson Street's intersection with Texas 121.
Cpl. Joe Hackfeld, Haltom City police spokesman, said the incident began when a patrol officer from his city tried to stop a vehicle during a narcotics investigation. The driver refused to stop and a chase ensued.
Hackfeld said he didn't know where the chase began, but it led to the Carson Street area, where the driver abandoned the vehicle and ran.
The Haltom City officer lost sight of the man, so officers began searching the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the two Fort Worth officers were visiting with the owner of 2nd Opinion Auto Center, said Officer Sharron Neal, a Fort Worth police spokeswoman. They learned from Haltom City police that a search was under way.
"A moment later, an employee came up and said a suspect was at the rear of the business," Neal said. "When officers went there, they were fired upon, at which time, officers returned fire."
Hackfeld said the suspect was also wounded by gunfire. He was taken to a Fort Worth hospital, but she declined to say which one. He was not immediately identified.
Both Hackfeld and Neal said late Tuesday that they had no information about the suspect's condition, including whether he had died.
Mayor Betsy Price and Tracey Knight, another Fort Worth police spokeswoman, updated the media on the officer's condition at the hospital Tuesday evening. Police Chief Jeff Halstead was out of state but would quickly return to Fort Worth, Knight said.
Reprinted with permission from the Star-Telegram