The man heard the first gun shot down the street and moved the kids from the front yard into the house. Then he heard four more. The man, a neighbor who requested we don't name him, says he wasn't surprised there was a shooting in the area, a tree-lined street of old houses near Ledbetter Drive in South Dallas. On Monday, the man says, there was one down the other way. But on Thursday night, when an off-duty officer shot a suspect, it was the quickest he's seen the police respond to the neighborhood.
Around 6:30, the sun still out, 20-year-old Ladarius Campbell pulled up next to a woman's vehicle, which was at a stop sign at the intersection of Veterans Drive and 52nd Street, Deputy Chief Gil Garza said at the crime scene. The relationship between the two were unknown at the time of the press conference late Thursday night, but Garza said they began to argue. Then, Campbell pulled out a gun and fired into the woman's car.
The woman drove forward, wrecking. Ruben Martinez, an off-duty officer in plain clothes, happened to be driving through or near the intersection for a family event at the time.
"The officer who was perpendicular to the scene observing the altercation taking place intervened and shot the suspect in the vehicle," Garza said. He added later, "The suspect engaged the officer."
In a cell phone video taken a few minutes after the officer fired, Campbell can be seen lying in the middle of the street. At that point, the person who took the video told us, he was still alive. He and the woman were taken to area hospitals, where the police expected both of them to recover, Garza said.
The person who shot the video, who also knows the suspect's family, tells us the suspect died Thursday night. The officer had no injuries. The woman's jaw was shot completely off, the person who shot the video says.
On one corner of the intersection sits a Montessori school, where community members had gathered for a back-to-school function. Family members who had not attended were allowed to walk onto the scene and pick up their loved ones.
The man who heard the gunshots and got the kids inside says the police drive their cars up and down the street regularly, but he's glad they do. The area has a drug problem, he says. He adds that, if he's behind another car at a stop sign and the car takes several minutes to move, he doesn't honk his horn or try to make the car move; he's afraid he might ignite end up shot dead himself.
Another man, who also asked we don't name him, says he wished the police would patrol the area more. The officer did the right thing, this man says, protecting himself and others by shooting the suspect.
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