A 21-year-old Arlington man's weekend full of interactions with Arlington police ended with him being shot and taken to the hospital, police said Monday afternoon. An Arlington Police Department officer shot William Paul Dodd at the Parks Mall on Sunday after responding to a shoplifting call from a Sunglass Hut. When officers arrived, Lt. Christopher Cook said Monday, Dodd ran, and officers pursued him on both the upper and lower levels of the mall.
Eventually, Dodd hopped on an escalator headed from the first to the second floor of the mall. As he rode to the mall's upper concourse, he pulled what appeared to be a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the officer on the ground floor, Cook said. The officer shot Dodd, who remained hospitalized at Medical City Arlington in critical condition Monday. He is currently sedated and can't be interviewed, Cook said.
After shooting Dodd, police discovered that Dodd's gun was a pellet gun, rather than a lethal weapon. “This could be a classic suicide-by-cop scenario,” Cook said.
Sunday afternoon wasn't the first time Dodd was in touch with APD over the weekend, Cook said. Police tried to pull Dodd over for reckless driving Friday night. Dodd took off, Cook said, and officers elected not to give chase given the time of day and the fact that roads were crowded with holiday weekend drivers. Two days later, at about 3 p.m. Sunday, Dodd called 911 from Stoval Park in Arlington.
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During his 911 call, Dodd told a dispatcher that he was the man who'd run from police Friday. He said he was armed and knew police were looking for him, so any officers who showed up to take him into custody should "be ready," Cook said Monday.
"In the call, Mr. Dodd claimed that he was a suspect in an evading arrest call," he said. "At one point during the call, he said, 'I know Arlington is looking for me, but I got a gun so if y'all pull me over I'm gonna shoot, so just be ready.' "
Police went to the park but couldn't find Dodd. A few hours later, Cook said, APD responded to the shoplifting call from the mall.
The officer who shot Dodd did not know about the earlier incidents at the time of the shooting, Cook said.