Off-duty Dallas cop fatally shoots suspect who killed man
Officer fatally shot an 18-year-old man who had just killed another man early Wednesday
By Tristan Hallman and Claire Z. Cardona
The Dallas Morning News
DALLAS — An off-duty Dallas officer fatally shot an 18-year-old man who had just killed another man early Wednesday, police say.
The shooting was the sixth by Dallas police this month and the second in a week. Meanwhile, officials announced Wednesday that another officer, a 28-year veteran of the department, is under investigation, suspected of failing to stop a kidnapping that eventually led to the shooting by police earlier this week.
In Wednesday's shooting, police say, Officer Jose Gamez didn't know Sergio Ramos had shot Joseph Roling, 25, just minutes before.
Maj. Jeff Cotner of the crimes against persons division said Ramos shot Roling while robbing him about 12:45 a.m. at a gas station off North Central Expressway near Midpark Road. Roling, who was in his car, sped off and crashed into parked cars. Ramos and an accomplice and two women followed in a car.
Ramos and the accomplice got out of the car and reached into Roling's car for an unknown reason.
Cotner said Gamez, who was leaving an off-duty security shift nearby, didn't know the shooting had happened. But he saw the wreck and "knew they had potentially done some sort of criminal activity," Cotner said.
Gamez drove toward the wreck in his personal car, only to see the three people who were with Ramos drive away, police say. Ramos remained on foot.
Cotner said Gamez followed the car, stopped behind them and questioned one of the women. The accomplice and another woman walked away. Gamez was in uniform and identified himself as a police officer, Cotner said.
Then Ramos walked back to his car and got inside, police say. Gamez tried to question Ramos. But when he saw Ramos had a gun protruding from his pocket, Gamez told Ramos not to touch it. When Ramos reached for it, Gamez shot him multiple times, police said.
Gamez's attorney, Jane Bishkin, said the shooting "looks like it's completely justified."
Cotner said investigators have talked to both of the women who were in Ramos' car. He said Ramos' accomplice is still at large, and police are filing a capital murder case against him.
The shooting came less than 48 hours after Officer Rogelio Moreno fatally shot Steven Douglas, 29, a suspect in a kidnapping.
Police announced Wednesday that Senior Cpl. Les Richardson is on administrative leave after a woman accused him of failing to act when Douglas took a 9-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy from her at gunpoint after ramming her car and breaking her window. She is the mother of Douglas' children. She told detectives she saw the officer, but he drove away.
Police say they have confirmed Richardson, 61, was there and are reviewing dash cam footage.
Tom Pappas, Richardson's attorney, said he is confident his client will be cleared.
"He hasn't done anything wrong," he said.
Hours after the incident, Douglas pointed a gun at Moreno after trying to run away from officers, police said. Moreno shot him. The children had been taken to a relative's house before the shooting and were unharmed.
Including Douglas and Ramos, Dallas police have now shot 13 people this year. Nine have died. All but one of the suspects was armed, and the unarmed man was charging at a police officer who had his gun drawn. Two of the people shot were violently attacking someone else, police said.
Former Dallas Deputy Police Chief Craig Miller, who commanded the unit that investigates shootings by police for four years, said the cluster of shootings seems "unusual" but isn't reflective of a pattern.
"In these situations where someone points a gun at a police officer, they don't think about whether a shooting happened two days before or a week before," said Miller, the current Dallas ISD police chief who provides expert testimony in use of force cases. "They use the force that they think is appropriate to protect themselves and other citizens."
Copyright 2014 The Dallas Morning News