Highland Park Police Officers Kill Suspect Who Shot First

Two Highland Park police officers shot and killed a suspect who fired on them first Tuesday night. It may have been the first fatal shooting in the history of the town’s Department of Public Safety.

According to a statement released by the department, officers responded to a 911 call at 6:25 p.m. from a motorist who was being followed by a motorcycle. A motorcycle matching the caller’s description was spotted in the parking lot of Park Cities Plaza, the shopping center on Mockingbird Lane near SMU.

When the suspect returned to his motorcycle, the officers tried to question him. He tried to get away, but they detained him after a brief chase. However, they apparently did not do a thorough-enough search.

“After the suspect was detained and placed in the back seat of the patrol car, the suspect was able to escape the handcuffs,” said the statement from Lt. Marc Rossini. “He was able to use a small firearm he still had on his person.”

Rossini’s statement said the suspect fired one shot before both officers returned fire. The suspect, whose name has not been released, was taken by ambulance to Parkland hospital. The officers were not injured.

Rossini said the last time a Highland Park officer fired a gun while in uniform was in 2006. According to a report published in Park Cities People at the time, Officer John Lee was working at the Whole Foods Market on Lomo Alto Drive on June 28. That’s when Terence Sheffield, 40, fled the store and drove out of the parking lot, dragging Lee behind him.

Lee tried to stop the car by shooting at the tires. When that didn’t work, he shot Sheffield in the chest. The car ran over Lee’s leg as it crashed onto a curb.

When asked if any previous officer-involved shootings led to fatalities, Rossini — who is filling in as spokesman for the vacationing Sgt. Lance Koppa — said, “To the best of my knowledge, we have not had a suspect shot and killed by our officers.”

University Park spokesman Steve Mace said city manager Bob Livingston remembers UP officers being fired upon during a chase about 15 years ago, but he could not recall cops shooting at anyone.

9 thoughts on “Highland Park Police Officers Kill Suspect Who Shot First

  • June 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    Permalink

    Terrible? Why? Stolen motorcycle following a resident. Armed with outstanding warrants. Long criminal history. Who knows what he was planning to do? Public is safer. No officers harmed or killed. No residents or bystanders or additional victims. It could have been a terrible story. One less idiot.

    Reply
  • June 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm
    Permalink

    Terrible? I don’t care about the life of the suspect, but yes, this whole incident is terrible.

    It’s terrible because the police officers either forgot to frisk, or frisked and failed to find, a gun on the suspect’s person. It’s terrible because the suspect was able to fire the gun IN THE POLICE CAR because officers apparently failed to cuff him securely. It’s terrible that once he managed to get away, police officers fired at him in the midst of a crowded intersection at rush hour, striking at least one car. The only not-terrible things about this story are that (1) the suspect is dead, and (2) no one else is, no thanks to the trigger happy police.

    Yes, we should honor the service of our police officers who – fortunately for all of us – see little more than expired inspection stickers, busted burglar alarms, teenage mischief and the occasional drunk. We also should be thankful no one else was hurt yesterday. But this incident has revealed a serious case of incompetence, poor judgment and lack of training on the part of the HP police. The department needs to deal with it and it must do so now. My guess is that UP should be doing the same.

    WFAA has many more details of the incident here:

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/crime/Highland-Park-police-investigating-officer-involved-shooting-210178501.html

    Reply
  • June 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm
    Permalink

    Are you seriously asking why this is terrible? The public safety officers and the public were at risk because of this armed criminal opened fire in the middle of a busy intersection. I have great respect for public servants who protect us, but clearly something went wrong here and it has not yet been explained. Presumably the handcuffs were applied improperly. Compounding that error, the criminal was not disarmed. The officers and the public were put at serious risk, the criminal is dead, and the officers will have to live with the stress of this event. Terrible indeed.

    Reply
  • June 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm
    Permalink

    Don’t pull a gun on the police, period. I stand behind the Highland Park DPS.

    Reply
  • June 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm
    Permalink

    Guess it all depends on if you are a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person. Were mistakes made? It seems like it. Was the mistake corrected? Sure sounds like it. Terrible would have been a different result entirely.

    Reply
  • June 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm
    Permalink

    Sam – So do I, but there were obvious and inexcusable failures yesterday that I suspect would not have happened with better trained officers. The department needs to acknowledge the problems and then deal with them.

    Reply
  • June 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm
    Permalink

    some people can get out of handcuffs believe it or not

    Reply

Leave a Reply to bobthebuilder Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *