Chief Renee Hall of the Dallas Police Department sadly reports the death of Officer Rogelio Santander.
Officer Santander, 27, was shot and critically injured while he and other officers attempted to arrest a shoplifting suspect at a Home Depot store.
A theft was thwarted by the Home Depot loss prevention officer, Scott Painter, who was an off duty police officer. During the interview with the suspect, a felony warrant was discovered. Painter then requested additional police assistance.
While Painter was confirming the warrant, Santander and his partner, Officer Crystal Almeida were placing handcuffs on the suspect. The suspect broke free from officers and pulled a small gun from his pocket. Consequently, the suspect shot all three officers, severely wounding each one.
The suspect fled the scene of the shooting on foot and got into a white pick-up truck. The vehicle was spotted later in the day. Police pursued the truck but eventually took the suspect into custody after being cornered in a neighborhood near Love Field.
Once the suspect was in custody, Chief Hall extended her gratitude to all officers over a city wide radio broadcast.
All three officers were transported to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Sadly, Santander succumbed to his gunshot wounds the following morning.
Painter and Almeida remain hospitalized.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Santander was shot in the back of his head, while Almeida was shot in the face.
“We come before you this morning with broken hearts and we regret to inform you that Officer Rogelio Santander, Badge 10934, has succumbed to his injuries,” she said. “We’re asking you to continue to pray for the [Santander] family and the DPD family.”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings also announced Officer Santander’s death during a regularly scheduled city council meeting. Interrupting the meeting, which was already in progress, he said, “It is with great sadness that we must inform you that Officer Rogelio Santander, Badge #(10)934, passed away at 8:11 this morning.”
During the press conference Chief Hall said, “We are happy to report that Officer Crystal Almeida and our loss-prevention officer Scott Painter is making remarkable recovery. They are still in critical condition but we are optimistic about what we’re seeing with them right now.”
Wednesday morning Dallas police Sergeant Michael Mata, who is also president of the Dallas Police Association, said, “When an officer is shot or killed or injured in one city, it affects every officer across the country. We are one huge family.”
“Crystal is doing amazingly well,” Mata told reporters. “She’s able to move parts of her arms and legs.”
He added, “She’s a fighter. The doctors treating her are greatly surprised in the improvements that she’s made in the last 24 hours. We just ask for continued prayers. It’s going to be a very, very long road for her.”
Mata called Santander “an amazing young man” who was widely respected in his community.
“We are going to take care of his family. They will for always and forever be a part of the Dallas Police Association and the Dallas Police Department,” he said.
Condolences have poured in from law enforcement departments across Texas and the nation.
— Fort Worth Police (@fortworthpd) April 25, 2018
Our hearts are with the Dallas Police Department as they mourn the loss of Officer Rogelio Santander. Prayers for his family and the entire DPD. pic.twitter.com/THYb2Wz4Rb
— Hurst PD (@HurstPoliceDept) April 25, 2018
??? Another HERO DOWN – Ofrc Rogelio Santander of Dallas PD has succumbed to his injuries. He gave his life while serving & protecting his community. Prayers to his family & the entire @DallasPD. #WPPD stands w/you & we hurt w/you. #EOW #RIP #HERO pic.twitter.com/Gj6OWBMHWc
— Winter Park Police (@WinterParkPD) April 25, 2018
We extend our deepest sympathy to Officer Santander's family and the entire Dallas Police Department. Thank you @DallasPD Officer Rogelio Santander for your service. May your memory live on forever. pic.twitter.com/HZ3ikSdFe3
— NRH Police (@NRHPD) April 25, 2018
Santander and Almeida graduated from the police academy together and have been partners their entire time with the department, an officer told NBC DFW.
Our thoughts and prayers are with @DallasPD and the two officers shot and critically wounded. Texas honors all the men and women who protect and serve our communities, and justice will be served. https://t.co/gkUnxciFOs
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) April 24, 2018
Rogelio Santander served the Dallas Police Department for three years. He is survived by his parents and siblings.
Officer Rogelio Santander is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Wednesday, April 25, 2018.