Texas officer wounded during pursuit

By Emily Tsao
The Dallas Morning News 

GARLAND, Texas A man was dead early Monday, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot, after he shot two other men, wounded a Garland police officer in the leg and took officers on a chase through Garland and Dallas.

Dallas police said they were questioning one victim who was not injured to piece together what happened and whether the suspect knew the victims. Central Expressway, which had been shut down in both directions for several hours to accommodate the investigation, was reopened as of 7:30 a.m.

The suspect's name had not been released, but he was reportedly 24 to 26 years old.

Police said the drama apparently began unfolding about 3:30 a.m., when three men, ages 19 to 22, picked up the suspect in the 7800 block of Ferguson Road in Far East Dallas. From there, they drove to the 8800 block of Ferguson Road, where the first victim may have been shot and released, Dallas police said. That man reportedly was in critical condition at Baylor University Medical Center.

Dallas police said the suspect and at least one other victim proceeded to the 7800 block of Ferguson, where the second victim was shot. He was reportedly in stable condition at Baylor.

It was unclear where the third victim managed to get out of the vehicle.

Police were alerted by one of the injured victims about the shooting and the word went out to officers to be on the lookout for a Lincoln Town Car. Dallas police said one of their officers in an unmarked vehicle spotted the Lincoln and began following it, then called for backup.

As other officers joined the chase, it wound through Dallas and Garland. A Garland police officer was putting down spikes at Miller and Garland roads to slow the Lincoln when the suspect fired twice out of his window, hitting her in the thigh, said Dallas police Lt. Craig Miller, commander of the homicide department.

Garland police Officer Joe Harn said the bullet went straight through the officer's leg and did not hit any bones. She did not immediately know she had been shot, he said.

The two-year veteran was listed in stable condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

"She knew she had been injured, but she thought one of the spikes had flown off and hit her. She heard a pop as he was driving over the stop sticks. She immediately felt pain. She pulled the stop sticks back into the car and drove back to the station," Officer Harn said.

As the suspect headed down southbound Central Expressway, he brought his car to a stop near Northwest Highway because his tires were losing air. Officers heard shots inside the vehicle and then the suspect was deceased, Dallas police said.

Lt. Miller said no officers fired shots throughout the morning.

Staff writer Tanya Eiserer and WFAA-TV contributed to this report.

Copyright 2007 Dallas Morning News

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