An off-duty police officer in Texas missed the gun while patting down the suspect accused of killing a Dallas police officer and critically wounding two others on Tuesday during a call at Home Depot in northeast Dallas, KTVT-TV reported.
Dallas Officer Rogelio Santander, 27, died Wednesday from gunshot wounds sustained during the shooting.
Officer Crystal Almeida and Home Depot loss-prevention officer Scott Painter were also shot and remain hospitalized in critical condition.
The suspect, Armando Jaurez, 29, had a non-violent criminal record before Tuesday.
The off-duty officer who worked security at the store stopped Juarez on Tuesday for suspicious activity. Dallas police have not confirmed the identity of the off-duty officer.
The off-duty cop ran a background check on Juarez that turned up a felony warrant.
Court records showed that Juarez was arrested in December and pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle, KTVT reported. In February, he missed a sentencing hearing that led to the warrant for his arrest.
The off-duty officer patted down the suspect and led him uncuffed to the loss-prevention office where he called for uniformed backup just before 4 p.m.
Santander and Almeida, who graduated from the police academy together three years ago, responded to the call.
They met with the off-duty officer and Painter in the loss-prevention office.
At that point, the off-duty officer went outside to Santander and Almeida’s squad car to look up the warrant and confirm the detainee’s identity.
Juarez pulled out his handgun, and fired nine rounds at the victims when officers informed him he was going to jail, according to KTVT.
When the off-duty cop returned to the building, he heard a “shots fired” broadcast over his police radio.
Juarez jumped into the pickup truck he had stolen earlier that morning and took off. Later, he ditched the white truck he was driving and stole another white truck.
Juarez led police on a chase through Dallas that ended when he crashed the vehicle not far from his grandmother’s home. Police swarmed the suspect and took him into custody shortly before 10 p.m.
An unidentified woman, who was inside the truck with the suspect, was also taken into custody, but it’s unclear whether she will face charges.
Authorities charged Juarez with aggravated assault on a public servant for the shooting of Almeida, felony theft from an outstanding warrant and now capital murder for the shooting death of Santander.