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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Officer shoots, kills theft suspect on SE

Officer+shoots%2C+kills+theft+suspect+on+SE

By Kenney Kost/managing editor

 

Two police departments are looking into how a Grand Prairie police officer shot and killed a theft suspect in a SE Campus parking lot Jan. 24.

Arlington police crime scene officers discuss the case. Since the incident occurred on SE Campus, Arlington police are the lead investigators. Grand Prairie police, however, are also investigating since the shooting involved one of its officers.   Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Arlington police crime scene officers discuss the case. Since the incident occurred on SE Campus, Arlington police are the lead investigators. Grand Prairie police, however, are also investigating since the shooting involved one of its officers.
Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office identified the suspect as Jordan Hatcher, 22, of Mansfield.

Grand Prairie police Det. Mark Beseda said the identities of both the officer and a second suspect have not been released at this time.

The officer that fired the shots has been placed on a routine leave of absence, which can last from three days up to a week, Beseda said.

“He is a veteran officer and has never been involved in this kind of incident,”

Media from around the area gather across the parking lot on SE Campus from the site of the shooting. Television helicopters hovered over the campus taking shots of the crime scene.  Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Media from around the area gather across the parking lot on SE Campus from the site of the shooting. Television helicopters hovered over the campus taking shots of the crime scene.
Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

Grand Prairie police Det. Lyle Gensler said. “That is very routine, as any officer involved in a shooting will get three days off just to make sure he can work through the shooting.”

Arlington and Grand Prairie police will conduct a joint investigation, said Arlington media officer Sgt. Christopher Cook. Grand Prairie will lead an internal investigation to conclude whether further disciplinary action should be taken, and Arlington will direct a homicide investigation since the incident crossed Grand Prairie’s border into Arlington, he said.

Police officers from both Arlington and Grand Prairie survey the scene on SE Campus’ south parking lot where a theft suspect was shot and killed by a Grand Prairie police officer on Jan. 24. Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Police officers from both Arlington and Grand Prairie survey the scene on SE Campus’ south parking lot where a theft suspect was shot and killed by a Grand Prairie police officer on Jan. 24.
Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

“We will conduct the investigation and, regardless of whether we feel the use of deadly force was justified or not, we will present the case to the D.A. [Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office] as a homicide case,” he said. “They will go over the case, then present their findings to a grand jury, which will convene in private and decide whether to indict.”

Although SE Campus was not placed on lockdown, students who either tried to enter or leave through the E-wing were not allowed. Students and faculty that parked in the south lot behind the E-wing were frustrated and confused as to why they were not allowed to leave.

 

A police officer guards the scene in a SE parking lot where Jordan Hatcher, 22, was shot and killed by a Grand Prairie police officer. Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
A police officer guards the scene in a SE parking lot where Jordan Hatcher, 22, was shot and killed by a Grand Prairie police officer. Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

“At about 5 o’clock, I heard students in the hallways talking about a foot chase,” said SE theater instructor Angela Inman at the time. “There are students who are stuck on campus because the parking lot is blocked off.”

The incident began around 4 p.m. Jan. 24 when officers were sent to a Target store off State Highway 360 and Camp Wisdom Road in Grand Prairie on a report of theft. They arrived to

Grand Prairie and Arlington police officers are on the scene on SE Campus. A portion of the parking lot was sectioned off after a man was shot and killed by a Grand Prairie police officer. The man had fled on foot to SE after being suspected of a theft at a nearby Target.Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian
Grand Prairie and Arlington police officers are on the scene on SE Campus. A portion of the parking lot was sectioned off after a man was shot and killed by a Grand Prairie police officer. The man had fled on foot to SE after being suspected of a theft at a nearby Target.Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian

find two men leaving the scene and attempted to arrest them, Cook said.

“When Grand Prairie police arrived, one suspect was taken into custody,” Cook said. “The other struggled with Grand Prairie officers and was able to break free and ran on foot trying to flee.”

Cook said Grand Prairie then notified Arlington police and requested their assistance along with placing TCC police on alert in an attempt to anticipate where the suspect may have headed. Grand Prairie and TCC police found the suspect running through the south parking lot of SE Campus and made a second attempt to arrest him.

“At that point, there was another physical altercation between multiple officers and the suspect,” he said. “During this physical altercation, the suspect was able to gain control of one of the officer’s Tasers. After that occurred, the Grand Prairie officer did shoot the suspect in fear of his safety and the safety of the other officers.”

While walking to his car, SE instructional assistant Josh Dombrowsky said he was near a police officer when he heard shots fired.

“I went outside. I saw cop cars with flashing lights and heard three or four shots fired,” he said. “Some guy screamed, and cops on the radio said, ‘Shots fired!’”

One of the officers checked the suspect’s pulse after the shooting and attempted CPR. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

SE student Bridget Pierce witnessed the officer performing CPR on the suspect as she was driving on the south side of the campus attempting to leave school.

“When I went down the last aisle you could go down to, that’s when I saw they had the guy on the ground trying to resuscitate him,” she said. “I didn’t know what happened.”

Gensler said there was never any immediate danger to TCC students, and the campus went ahead with classes.

“TCC did an excellent job sending an alert out to their students that there was an incident in their parking lot,” he said. “They made the decision to continue with classes because of the information the police department was able to relay to them. We were told there were no injuries to students, other officers or any bystanders.”

Earlier that day, TCC police received an unconfirmed report of an armed man on a city bus headed to South Campus, according to Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley. Police responded only to learn the man had exited the bus before reaching campus.

“The supposed suspect got off on the previous stop just before South Campus, according to witnesses,” said TCC police chief Shaun Williams. “Police still checked the bus when it arrived at the campus stop to make sure there was no immediate threat to the school.”

Hadley was grateful for TCC police’s response in both incidents.

“We are proud of the professional and timely manner in which TCC police and all other departments are prepared to respond to all incidents and will continue to ensure that your safety is at the forefront of all decisions,” Hadley said in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff.

Williams shared Hadley’s sentiments.

“All three departments involved did a good job working together to get the situation under control,” he said. “Police on SE Campus preserved the crime scene. There was no continuing threat on the campus once the crime scene was secure. South Campus police took precautionary measures and handled that situation very well.”

Marley Malenfant and Elaine Bonilla contributed to this story.

 

 
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