DENTON, Tx. – A police officer is in critical condition after a suspect allegedly opened fire and then fled the scene during a traffic stop early on Tuesday morning, CBS 11 reported.
Denton authorities say that the tragic incident began when a local officer stopped a vehicle for an equipment violation outside of a Taco Bell on on University Drive, which is located approximately two miles from the campus of the University of North Texas.
Just after midnight this morning, Denton PD was involved in an officer-involved shooting. One officer is currently in critical condition at a local hospital and two persons of interest are detained. Denton PD will be holding a media conference at 3:45 a.m. at 719 E. Hickory St.
— Denton Police Dept (@DENTONPD) October 29, 2019
Denton Assistant Police Chief Bobby Smith said that during that encounter, one of the two individuals inside the vehicle allegedly pulled out a weapon and fired on the officer, striking him at least once.
Other officers were able to return fire after the initial shots.
“During the course of a traffic stop an officer was shot,” Smith said. “Backup officers at the scene were there and returned fire. The suspects fled the scene and the officer was transported to the hospital.”
The suspects took off in their vehicle as the other officers at the scene rushed to provide aid to the injured officer.
The wounded officer was rushed to the Medical City Hospital in Denton where they were reportedly undergoing emergency life-saving surgery. Doctors said that the officer is in critical but stable condition and is expected to survive the frightening encounter.
As the officer was taken to the hospital, officers from all over the area were on the lookout for the suspects, and a be-on-the-lookout was issued for their Chevy Malibu. Carollton police spotted the vehicle along Sandy Lake Road and pursued the suspects, who tried to run.
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The suspects sped throughout the Carollton area and onto a nearby turnpike before eventually veering off and stopping at a RaceTrac gas station on Valley View Lane, according to Smith.
A swarm of officers surrounded the vehicle as the suspects surrendered. When the arresting officers moved in to take them into custody, they realized why they were unable to continue running — both suspects had been shot and were wounded.
The Carollton officers reportedly never discharged their weapons during the morning’s events, and investigators are looking into whether the pair was injured from Denton police or in a separate, unrelated incident.
Both suspects were transported to Parkland Hospital to be treated for their injuries. Their status has not been made clear at this time.
Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon took to social media to thank the Carollton Police Department for their involvement in bringing down the two suspects. He asked for everyone to keep the officer and their family in their prayers.
Please keep our family in your prayers. Media, please see Assistant Chief Smith at our 3:45am presser. I am returning home immediately. I want to thank @CarrolltonTXPD and @FBTXPD for their assistance with getting the suspects detained and our partner agencies for their help. https://t.co/0wPOpdQKMu
— Frank Dixon (@Chief_Dixon2746) October 29, 2019
Other members of law enforcement showed their support for the wounded officer.
— Commander Tricia Mirabelle (@PPD205) October 29, 2019
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CBS 11 noted that the Texas Rangers are leading the investigation into Tuesday morning’s shooting with the assistance of Denton Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit.
A press conference was held early Tuesday morning in which officials provided more details about the incident.
This story is developing. We will continue to bring you updates as more information is released to the public.