Crime

Dallas Police Say They Shot a Screaming, Projectile-Throwing Burglar in Pleasant Grove

Here's how the Dallas Police Department described last night's officer-involved fatal shooting in Pleasant Grove in 1:44 a.m. Facebook post:

On July 17, 2013, at approximately 10:00 pm officers responded to a burglary in progress at the 1600 Block of Conner Dr. Upon arrival, officers observed one suspect inside of the listed location. The officers instructed the suspect to exit the residence through the rear door. The suspect initially complied with the officers instructions, but then charged the second officer. Fearing for his life, the officer fired his weapon striking the suspect. The suspect was transported to Baylor hospital where he is undergoing surgery.

Fairly unremarkable as far as cop shootings go. Or so it seemed. DPD held a press conference and followup news release this morning in which they filled in some missing details. Which are completely insane.

The basics of the story stay the same. It's 10 p.m. and two officers, now identified as Senior Corporal Mark Meltabarger and Officer Jamal Robinson, arrive at 1639 Conner to investigate a possible burglary. The house and yard are completely dark, and they can see no signs of forced entry from the front, so they draw their weapons and split up to see if anything's amiss.

Meltabarger makes it to the backyard first. He still can't see anything, but he hears a voice coming from inside. It's a man's voice, yelling something that was both very loud and very unintelligible. Meltabarger shined his flashlight through the open sliding glass door, the beam alighting on the face of 19-year-old Gerardo Pinedo.

The police officer ordered Pinedo to show his hands and get on the ground, which he did after a fashion. But first he ran around in circles and then, rather than lie flat like Meltabarger intended, he curled up into a ball.

Robinson had jumped the fence by this point, having heard Pinedo's screams, and trained his weapon on the suspect. This gave Meltabarger the chance to holster his gun and draw his Taser.

Pinedo, in turn, took the opportunity provided by Meltabarger's momentary distraction with his Taser to throw something, which bounced off the officer's head. Then, he got up and charged Robinson, reportedly reaching for his gun. Robinson, backed up against the fence he had just scaled, fired once. Pinedo later died at Baylor Hospital.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson