Dallas police reported two shootings by officers in the past five days, both of them working plainclothes investigations.
Yesterday at about 9:40 a.m., a plainclothes cop working the 3500 block of Virginia Boulevard spotted what he was looking for — a vehicle that he believed had been carjacked the night before. "The driver of the vehicle that was taken in the car jacking got out of the driver side," said Dallas police Maj. Jimmy Vaughn. The driver, 24-year-old Anthony Garcia, approached the officer with a handgun. "The officer discharged his duty weapon, striking the individual, who died as a result of his injuries," Vaughn said.
Swarms of police descended on the neighborhood, including SWAT teams who had been called to investigate a building where an additional suspect had taken refuge in a nearby home. They stormed the building in shock-and-awe style:
SWAT just set off a distraction device on Virginia.— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) October 19, 2016
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Distraction devices are law enforcement lingo for non-lethal explosive grenades that disorient their targets, giving police a chance to enter a building without getting shot. They are also called "flash-bang" grenades. However, this time there was no one home. "It was determined there were no additional persons inside that residence," Vaughn said.
The other officer-involved shooting occurred Friday, Oct. 14, in East Oak Cliff just before 7 p.m. Senior Corporal Robert McMillin Jr., a 21-year veteran detective assigned to the South Central Investigative Unit, stumbled on a gunfight while working a property crime investigation on the 300 block of East Brownlee Avenue.
From the seat of his unmarked car, he saw 24-year-old George Zapata shooting at another man. "The officer confronted the shooting suspect, identified himself as a police officer and was immediately engaged by gunfire," Dallas police said in a statement. McMillin shot back, hitting Zapata with an ultimately fatal wound.
Emergency room doctors pronounced Zapata, and one of his presumed victims, dead. Another man that police say Zapata shot is in stable condition. Staff at Baylor treated the detective for non-threatening injury to his foot and cleared him to go home.