A Dallas-area police officer and a suspect were both killed Friday after exchanging gunfire, authorities said.
The shooting occurred around 1:40 p.m. in Mesquite, Texas, amid reports of an unspecified disturbance outside an Albertson’s grocery store. A male suspect displayed a gun and a shootout with the officer, a 21-year veteran of the police force, followed, Mesquite Police Chief David Gill told reporters outside the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
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The unidentified officer was struck twice and the suspect was hit once. They were both taken to the hospital where they were listed in critical condition before they later died.
“This was a senseless act of violence that ripped a loving father and husband from his family,” a visibly emotional Gill said “He was a good man, a good friend and a good officer.”
The identities of the officer and suspect have not been released.
Dallas police Chief Edgardo Garcia offered his condolences via Twitter.
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“Praying and mourning alongside our brothers and sisters from @MesquitePD_TX their fallen hero and his family. The @DallasPD also wears your patch today, and for as long as you need our assistance,” he wrote.
The officer’s death came amid newly released figures by the National Fraternal Order of Police that said 314 police officers have been shot in the line of duty in 2021, killing 58, as of Wednesday.
“We are on pace this year to see the highest number of officers shot in the line of duty in one year ever recorded,” FOP president Patrick Yoes said in a statement released this week.