Denton, TX – A Denton police officer was shot while conducting a traffic stop early Tuesday morning.
The incident occurred in the parking lot of a Taco Bell in the 1800-block of West University Drive at 12:02 a.m., after the unnamed officer stopped a vehicle for an “equipment violation,” Denton Assistant Police Chief Bobby Smith explained during a predawn press conference.
At some point during the stop, one of the occupants inside the suspect vehicle shot the officer, at which point backup officers opened fire on the suspects, Chief Smith said.
The suspects fled the scene in their Chevrolet Malibu while the backup officers tended to the wounded officer, who was rushed to Medical City Denton, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported.
The officer was listed in critical-but-stable condition, and was undergoing surgery at the time of the 3:45 a.m. press conference, Chief Smith said.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family right now,” the chief told reporters.
Meanwhile, Carrollton police spotted the Malibu driving along Sandy Lake Road, KTVT reported.
The suspect refused to pull over, and led officers on a chase through the city of Carrollton and down the George Bush Turnpike.
The Malibu finally pulled off the roadway and surrendered at a gas station near Luna Road and Valley View Lane, KTVT reported.
The woman and man inside the suspect vehicle were both suffering from gunshot wounds, but it was unclear if those injuries were caused by the shootout with Denton police.
Carrollton police did not discharge their weapons prior to taking the duo into custody.
The suspects were transported to Parkland Hospital for treatment, and their conditions have not been released.
The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting with the assistance of the Denton Police Department’s Mayor Crimes Unit, KTVT reported.
They are also reviewing body camera footage of the altercation, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.
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