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2 Dallas officers, civilian injured in shooting at a Home Depot

  • Police look for a suspect in the shooting of two police officers in Dallas on Tuesday. Dallas Morning News PHOTO

Published: 4/24/2018 11:21:58 PM

DALLAS — Two officers and a Home Depot loss prevention officer were shot Tuesday afternoon at one of the stores in Dallas, police said.

The officers were critically wounded in the shooting at the store in the Lake Highlands neighborhood, near U.S. Highway 75 and Forest Lane, police said. The loss prevention officer’s condition was not available.

Police responded to the Home Depot about 4:15 p.m. when an off-duty Dallas police officer working there detained a suspect and called for assistance for the arrest, Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said.

When the other officers arrived, the suspect “produced a handgun” and shot the two responding officers and the Home Depot loss prevention officer, police said.

The three victims were transported by Dallas Fire-Rescue to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, “where we believe they’re getting the best possible care,” Hall said.

Multiple news outlets reported that at least one of the officers was shot in the head. Officials did not provide details about their conditions or injuries at a news conference Tuesday night, but said all three were in surgery.

The suspect, who is thought to be armed, remained at large Tuesday night after a manhunt that began near the wooded area and the creek behind the store.

Armando Luis Juarez, 29, was named a person of interest in the shooting. He left the Home Depot in a white pickup, Hall said.

“If you see anything, if you know anything, please contact the Dallas Police Department,” Hall said.

At the Forest Lane Station, Dallas Area Rapid Transit passengers were temporarily not allowed to get off or on the trains in an attempt to prevent the suspect from leaving the area, DART spokesman Mark Ball said. Service resumed shortly before 7 p.m. as the searched moved elsewhere.

A baseball game being held across the creek at Lutheran High School was placed on lockdown while police searched for the shooter, KXAS-TV.

“Once again Dallas is at the precipice, looking into the hell of heartbreak as our Police Department was attacked this afternoon,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at the news conference.

Council member Adam McGough, who represents the area, said he is praying for the officers and their families.

“It’s just more reminder of what a dangerous job they have,” he said.

Casey Phelps of Garland was on her way to pick up a friend from work when she saw flashing police lights behind her on Forest Lane.

“I thought, what did I do?” she said, until she realized they weren’t after her.

She pulled over and got out to see who the officers were chasing and saw a man in a white shirt and shorts emerge from behind a small market nearby.

Seeing the officers, some with guns drawn, he immediately fled back in the other direction, she said.

Aerial footage from the scene showed a man being loaded into an ambulance. At least one person was taken to Texas Health Presbyterian of Dallas.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also responding to the scene.

Less than an hour before the shooting, police officials were at the Fair Park complex to promote more than a dozen officers to new ranks.

“Grant us success in every good endeavor as we serve our community and our nation and our world. Be with us this hour, each and every day,” a sergeant said during the prayer, as the newly promoted officers, their families and their colleagues bowed their heads. “May the Lord keep you and bless you as you go your merry way, amen.”

In February, a Richardson police officer was shot and killed after responding to a disturbance call. Officer David Sherrard was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the department’s history, and the first on-duty officer to be killed in Texas this year.

Last year, a barricaded gunman in Little Elm unleashed a “hail of gunfire” on Detective Jerry Walker and fellow SWAT officers. Walker was the first Little Elm officer to die in the line of duty.

In spring 2016, Euless Officer David Hofer was fatally ambushed while responding to a report of a gunman at a park.

That same month, Fort Worth Officer Matt Pearce was shot seven times while pursuing two robbery suspects. He survived his injuries and eventually returned to duty.

In July 2016, a gunman opened fire on officers protecting protesters in downtown Dallas. Four Dallas officers and a DART officer were killed, and nine others were injured.

Dallas Officer Josh Burns was shot in 2014 while he and a partner were responding to a domestic disturbance in far northeast Dallas.

Before the ambush, the last Dallas officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty was Norm Smith in 2009.

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