Theft suspect shot dead by police in TCC southeast campus parking lot
A police chase from a local Super Target to the south parking lot of Tarrant County College ended in the shooting death of a theft suspect late Thursday afternoon.
Around 3:50 p.m., the Grand Prairie police department received a call reporting a felony theft at the Super Target located in the 5200 block of South State Highway 360 near Camp Wisdom Road.
According to Sgt. Christopher Cook of the Arlington police department, two men were involved in the theft. Upon arrival, Grand Prairie police were able to take one of the suspects into custody without incident. That suspect has yet to be identified.
The other man, who has only been identified as an adult male at this point, struggled with officers at the Target.
“During that struggle, the suspect was able to break free and ran on foot trying to flee,” said Cook.
Grand Prairie police then notified Arlington police around 4:15 p.m. and requested their assistance in apprehending the suspect.
The suspect fled the Super Target and ran across Highway 360 towards the TCC Southeast campus less than a mile away.
Grand Prairie police and TCC officers arrived at the south parking lot of the campus where the suspect ran to.
Prior to Arlington police arriving, the suspect got into a “physical altercation” with multiple Grand Prairie officers.
“During this physical altercation, the suspect was able to gain control of one of the officer’s tasers,” said Cook. “After that occurred, the Grand Prairie officer shot the suspect out of fear for his safety and the safety of the other officers.”
When asked if the suspect was tasered by police, Cook said it would have to be determined after assessing witness accounts.
An Arlington Voice Facebook follower claimed she was at the street entrance to the parking lot and witnessed police tase the man after he failed to respond to their orders to get on the ground. But from her account, she said it wasn’t effective.
The suspect died at the scene. An emergency medical technician did try to revive the suspect with CPR, but was unsuccessful. Arlington police arrived shortly afterwards.
The criminal investigation of this incident will be handled by the Arlington police department while the administrative investigation, which is routine with any officer-involved shooting, will be conducted by the Grand Prairie police department.
Homicide detectives will continue speaking with witnesses to assess their accounts and piece together what exactly occurred during the altercation. It could be several weeks before the final outcome of this case is determined.
Police were not entirely sure what the suspects were attempting to steal from the Super Target. That information won’t be available until after they interview the suspect, who is in custody, and loss prevention employees from the store.
During the altercation, TCC was not put under lockdown. No students, bystanders, or officers were injured during the incident.
“Tarrant County College did an excellent job sending out an alert to their students that there was an incident in their parking lot,” said Cook. “But they made the decision to continue with classes based on the information the police department relayed to them.”
Det. Lyle Gensler of the Grand Prairie police department did not release any information on the officer who fired the shots, but said that he is a veteran with the department and has been there for more than ten years.
As is routine, the officer will be put on administrative leave for three days in order to work through the shooting.