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March 25, 2007
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Dallas officer dies in shootout following car chase

The Associated Press
Related story: Officer's killer has lengthy record, police say
Officer Down: Cpl. Mark Nix

DALLAS, Tex. - The man accused of gunning down a Dallas police officer remained hospitalized Saturday with injuries that are not considered to be life threatening, a police spokesman said.

A wounded murder suspect is wheeled away after a SWAT team removed him from his vehicle after a shooting and stand off in west Dallas, Friday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Wesley Ruiz, 27, faces a capital murder charge, four charges of aggravated assault on a public servant and possession of methamphetamines, Lt. Vernon Hale said.

Police who searched his car found an assault rifle in the vehicle, 200 grams of meth and an unknown amount of marijuana, Hale said. It was not known if Ruiz had any drugs in his system.

He is accused of killing Senior Cpl. Mark Timothy Nix following a brief car chase Friday in which the suspect's car ended up nose to nose with the squad car. Nix, 33, was a Navy reservist and a veteran of the Iraqi War. He had been on the force for nearly seven years and was engaged to be married.

Ruiz opened fire from inside his car, shooting Nix when he was at the passenger-side window, Hale said. Other officers shot back, injuring Ruiz. Hospital personnel declined to release his condition, referring questions to police.

The chase began Friday when officers spotted a car that matched the description of one used in a homicide earlier in the week. When police tried to pull over Ruiz, he sped off. Ruiz has a criminal history involving drug charges and evading arrest, Hale said.

The chase ended in a West Dallas neighborhood when the suspect lost control of his car. The police car and the suspect's car ended up front bumper to front bumper. That's when Nix left his squad car and approached Ruiz.

Rush-hour traffic prevented ambulances from promptly responding, so another officer drove Nix to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he died.


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