Courts & Crime

Police shoot man in rush hour traffic, find dead woman in car

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas — A man who was shot by police Thursday during rush hour on Northeast Loop 820 has died, a police spokesman said.

After the driver of a silver Lincoln Town Car was fatally wounded, a woman was found inside the car and pronounced dead at the scene.

Police learned at about 10:20 p.m. that the man, whose name was unavailable Friday morning, had died at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, said Investigator Keith Bauman, a North Richland Hills police spokesman.

Initial reports Thursday night stated that the man shot at police.

However, Bauman on Friday said that investigators had clarified that the man reportedly pointed a semiautomatic handgun at officers, but he did not shoot.

"No rounds were exchanged from him," Bauman said Friday morning. "Officers fired when they felt threatened."

The incident started about 6:30 p.m. in Fort Worth when a caller to 911 reported hearing gunshots at a business in the 5700 block of Elliott Reeder Road.

The caller said he then saw a man loading someone into a silver Town Car, Bauman said.

Haltom City police officers were closer to the scene than Fort Worth officers, so they responded to the call. They saw a car like the one described in the call, they tried to stop it, Bauman said.

When the driver would not stop, they gave chase, Bauman said.

On the loop, traffic was heavy and the cars were forced to slow down.

About 6:50 p.m., Bauman said, the driver stopped near the Holiday Lane exit, got out of the car and pointed a gun at the officers, Bauman said.

That's when the officers returned fire, hitting the man at least once, Bauman said.

There was no indication that the woman was hit by the shots fired by police, Bauman said. No officers or bystanders were reported injured.

Police recovered a black semiautomatic handgun, Bauman said.

A helicopter ambulance landed on the freeway and took the wounded driver to a hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.

"It was a very dangerous situation," Bauman said. "It could have been a catastrophe. The officers were just there reacting to the situation."

Westbound lanes of the loop were still closed at 10:30 p.m.

The dead woman had not been identified Friday morning.

North Richland Hills police were investigating the shooting as were internal affairs investigators from Haltom City police, Bauman said.

Fort Worth homicide detectives were investigating the 911 call that started the chase, a Fort Worth police spokesman said.