Two Dallas Police officers were shot and pne was killed Tuesday afternoon outside of a Home Depot in the Northeast section of the city, authorities said. A civilian, a loss prevention officer at the store, was also shot in the incident at the home improvement store, WFAA-TV reports. The surviving officer is in critical condition, while the guard’s condition was not immediately available.
A suspect in the shooting, Armando Luis Juarez, 29, was taken into custody after a brief chase that followed a five-hour manhunt, the Dallas Morning News reports. Juarez was initially charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant also held on previous felony theft warrants. He is expected to face additional charges after the death of the officer. The Home Depot is in the 11600 block of Forest Central Drive, near U.S. Highway 75 and Forest Lane in the Lake Highlands neighborhood, according to police.
Officer Rogeio Santander, a three-year veteran of the department, died Wednesday morning, police said. Officer Crystal Almeida and Home Depot employee Scott Painter were also shot, and remain in critical condition, but are improving, police said. “Again, we ask that you please continue to pray for Officer Santander’s family and our department as we all try to cope with this tragic loss,” Dallas Police said. She also asked for “prayers for their recovery,” referencing the wounded officers. “Thank you to our community and everyone at Presbyterian Hospital for your love and support during this time,” she said.
“Dallas is at the precipice looking into the hell of heartbreak as our police department was attacked this afternoon,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a press conference. He said officers are focused on catching Juarez, a Dallas native, and said police from several local, state and federal agencies are searching for him.
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall asked for prayers and said, “Our hearts are very heavy.”
Here’s what you need to know about the suspect and the shooting:
1. Officers Were Serving a Warrant With a Home Depot Security Guard When the Suspect Pulled Out a Gun & Shot Them
Officers were helping an off-duty officer serve a warrant alongside a Home Depot loss prevention officer at the Lake Highlands store when the suspect pulled out a gun and shot them, WFAA-TV reports.
Police Chief Renee Hall said the off-duty officer was working at the Home Depot and called for assistance in making an arrest. The off-duty officer was not shot.
The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Armando Juarez, was wanted for skipping sentencing in a felony theft case, court records show. The shooting happened about 4:15 p.m.
According to WFAA-TV, “Several Home Depot employees told WFAA that there was a ruckus behind the store and that they heard gunshots. One employee said he saw two officers on the ground and wounded.”
2. Police Chased Juarez, Who Was Driving a White Pickup Truck, Into an Dead End, Where He Was Arrested
Police described the suspect, Armando Juarez, as wearing a white T-shirt and blue jean shorts. He was possibly armed with two handguns, according to police. Authorities initially believed Juarez fled on foot, but security footage appears to show him leaving in a white pickup truck, possibly with a passenger.
At about 9 p.m., five hours after the shooting, police spotted the white truck Juarez was driving in a residential neighborhood in the city. Officers chased the truck as a helicopter tracked him from above and the pursuit ended when he drove into a dead end, the Dallas Morning News reports. He was then taken into custody.
One of Juarez’s relatives told WFAA-TV’s Jason Whitely that the 29-year-old is unemployed, but previously worked with his father as a brick layer and forklift operator. He lives with his girlfriend in Dallas, according to the relative.
His grandmother told NBCDFW that she couldn’t believe it when she heard about her grandson’s alleged involvement and said her family always “back the blue.” She also said he is a “good Christian boy.”
There were reports that the suspect had been taken into custody at Richland College, but when officers responded, they determined that man was not the one who was wanted in the shooting. Police also detained another man near the scene, but he was also released.
3. A Warrant Was Issued for Juarez’s Arrest After He Missed a Court Date in a Felony Vehicle Theft Case, Records Show
Armando Luis Juarez has been arrested multiple times in Dallas County, online court records show. Judge Dominique Collins issued a warrant for Juarez’s arrest and raised his bond to $10,000 on February 5, 2018, after Juarez failed to appear in court. He was originally arrested in December 2017 on a state jail felony theft charge for allegedly taking goods worth more than $2,500. WFAA-TV’s Jason Whitely reports that he was scheduled to be sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication during that sentencing.
According to court records, Juarez is accused of stealing a motor vehicle in November 2017. On December 2, 2017, a man called police after he spotted his stolen truck in a Dallas apartment complex parking lot. The man told police he went to determine the truck was his and saw Juarez inside. Juarez fled from the truck, but the owner’s friends stopped him and held him until police arrived. A black BB gun was found inside the truck.
Juarez was also arrested in January 2018 for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He posted $1,000 bail and that case is still pending. It is not clear if that case is connected to his December arrest.
In 2008, Juarez was convicted of attempted possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, and was sentenced to 9 days in jail, along with probation. A 2007 misdemeanor charge for failure of fugitive to give ID was dismissed.
4. Police Swarmed the Home Depot After the Shooting & Searched the Area Around It for 5 Hours Until Juarez Was Arrested
Police officers flocked to the scene of the shooting after an urgent call for officers down was put out on the radio. Photos and videos taken by local reporters showed officers searching around a creek area.
K-9 officers were also searching the area. A Dallas Police helicopter was also brought to the scene. ATF agents were also responding to the scene to assist, the federal agency tweeted.
According to WFAA-TV, “More than a dozen police cars were still at the scene behind the store, near a line of trees. At least one person could be seen being loaded onto an ambulance. An officer with a police search dog was also on the scene, going into the wooded area. Armored police vehicles were seen driving toward the Home Depot on U.S. 75. Officers could be seen searching the surrounding area for the suspect.”
A Dallas Area Rapid Transit station at Forest Lane was shutdown to keep people out of the search area and to prevent the suspect from leaving, the Dallas Morning News reports. Trains were passing through the station without stopping.
Police have asked people to avoid the area as officers search for the suspect.
“We can confirm that two @DallasPD officers have been shot and critically wounded. We will provide updates as we get them. Please pray for our officers and their families,” police said on Twitter. “A civilian was also shot in this incident. The condition of the civilian is unknown at this time.”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings tweeted, “We are closely monitoring the situation in northeast Dallas and praying for our officers and their families.”
Governor Greg Abbott tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with @DallasPD and the two officers shot and critically wounded. Texas honors all the men and women who protect and serve our communities, and justice will be served.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton added, “As a major investigation continues in Dallas, please pray for the two heroic @DallasPD officers who have been shot in the line of service. We also extend our thoughts and prayers to their families during this critical hour.”
5. Five Police Officers Were Shot & Killed in Dallas During an Ambush in July 2016
Tuesday’s incident was the first time a Dallas officer was killed in the line of duty since a 2016 ambush. Five police officers, four who worked for the Dallas Police Department and one who worked for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority, were killed while patrolling at a Black Lives Matter rally on July 7, 2016.
The suspect in that shooting, Micah X. Johnson, was an Army veteran who was angered by shootings of black men by police that had occurred in the weeks before the attack, authorities said. Johnson barricaded himself inside a building near the scene of the shooting and was later blown up by police using a robot armed with explosives.
DART Officer Brent Thompson was killed along with Dallas Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, Sergeant Michael Smith and officers Michael Krol and Patrick Zamarippa.
“I continue to be upset at the lack of respect for our police in this city and our country and now is the moment that we can lift them up,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said after the April 2018 shooting. “It sobers us to realize what officers walk into day in and day out and how quickly they can become victims.”