The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Subdued reaction on SE after officer shoots, kills suspect

Jordan Hatcher
Jordan Hatcher
Jordan Hatcher

By Karen Gavis/editor-in-chief

Although police have given few details about the shooting of a 22-year-old by a Grand Prairie police officer on SE Campus Jan. 24, Grand Prairie police said charges against the suspect would have increased from theft to robbery.

After escaping on foot from police into a parking lot on SE, Jordan Hatcher was shot multiple times after grabbing an officer’s Taser during a scuffle, police said.

Grand Prairie police Detective Mark Beseda said the crime committed at a nearby Target that led to the shooting has since been upgraded from theft to robbery. Robbery occurs when someone is injured during a theft, Beseda said, and in this incident, a Target employee was injured.

Target spokesperson Jessica Deede referred all questions to Grand Prairie police.
Beseda said the name of the officer who fired the shots has not been released.

Arlington police Sgt. Christopher Cook said police are unable to release some information because the case is still under investigation.

“Anytime deadly force is used, a detective is assigned,” he said. “Currently, that is Investigator Byron Stewart, a veteran detective.”

According to a funeral home obituary, Hatcher graduated from Mansfield High School and served four years as a Marine. Funeral services were held Jan. 30.

Shortly after the shooting, SE president Bill Coppola sent a letter to faculty and staff members.

“All, as you know there was an unfortunate incident on our campus late today. Even though it did not involve one of our students and was an external incident, it still affects us all,” he said. “I just want to assure you that Lt. Kenneth Lee and his officers have made the SE Campus a safe one for you and our students.”

SE Campus electrician Rick Yoes said he expected everyone to be talking about the incident the following day when he arrived at work. However, he was surprised by the reaction.

“The next day, no one was saying nothing,” he said. “It was like if we ignored it, it would go away.”

Yoes said he was on the third floor of the ESCT building when the shooting occurred and could hear students in the hallway talking about gunshots. Once outside, he saw Grand Prairie and Arlington police officers standing over a body while SE Campus police officers “were taking care of SE Campus people,” he said.

Yoes said after watching the way campus police officers handled the situation, he has no need to worry about campus safety.

“The next time shit hits the fan around here, I know these cops are going to be doing a great job taking care of people,” he said. “Their knee-jerk reaction was to watch out for our students, our faculty and our staff.”

When student activities administrative assistant Karen De Simone went outside, police had already cordoned off a section of the parking lot, she said.

“There were several students out in the parking lot when this happened,” she said. “We offered our phone for use. We did what we could to make the students comfortable.”
Although extra counselors were available, SE counseling director Steve Rakoff said few people have sought help.

“For the most part, it was over before anyone knew it happened,” he said.

Rakoff said sometimes if a person is traumatized, it takes a while to process it, and counselors remain available.

Yoes described one particularly emotional day on SE Campus.

“Some of his [Hatcher’s] family showed up out here a few days ago,” he said. ”One of the women was crying.”

Yoes said the visitors were searching around in the woods for personal items like Hatcher’s cellphone that weren’t on the body when it was recovered.

“A little later, I saw Officer [Kevin] Carter walking around the maintenance shop with his arm around one of the women,” he said. “Carter was doing everything he could to console her.”
Some of Hatcher’s friends and family found ways to express their grief through social media by posting photos and commenting on websites.

“I really loved him,” one friend wrote. “I really don’t want everyone to see him just as a punk thief. He really was an amazing person.”

Another commenting online was retired Marine Sgt. Matthew Damge who expressed sympathy to the family.

“Jordan was one of the Marines in my company while stationed in California,” he wrote. “We all remember him as a hard-working Marine who always had a smile.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian