Fort Worth Officer Shot

Man arrested on suspicion of attempted capital murder in officer's shooting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Officer Clifford Hankins is in intensive care after being shot in the stomach.

    Police have arrested a man in connection with the shooting of a Fort Worth police officer Thursday afternoon.

    Officer Clifford Hankins, 46, was shot in the stomach in the parking lot of Robinson's BBQ on East Berry Street just before 2 p.m. Thursday.

    Police have arrested Joe Nathan Haywood III, 25, on suspicion of attempted capital murder. On Friday, police added a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He's being held without bond.

    Fort Worth Officer Recovering From Gunshot Wound

    [DFW] Fort Worth Officer Recovering From Gunshot Wound
    Officer Clifford Hankins is in intensive care after being shot in the stomach.

    Fort Worth police said Hankins, who was responding to a call about a suspicious person, was shot once when got out of his patrol car to talk to the man.

    Witnesses said the shooter ran from the scene while shooting his gun in the air. Hankins was able to radio for help as patrons from the barbecue restaurant assisted him.

    Fort Worth Officer Shot

    [DFW] Fort Worth Officer Shot
    Fort Worth police Officer Clifford Hankins was hospitalized after being shot in the stomach.

    A man matching the description of the shooter was found in the 3200 block of East Mississippi Avenue, not far from where the shooting took place, and taken into custody for questioning. Police said officers found a gun a couple of feet away.

    Hankins, a 16-year veteran of the police force and former Marine, was transported to an area hospital. After two hours in surgery, doctors moved Hankins to intensive care, where his family waited to see him.

    "There was not any significant bone damage that they were finding or anything like that," Lt. Paul Henderson said. "Everything looks as good as it can right now."

    Doctors are hopeful that Hankins will make a full recovery, police said.

    Hankins was recently assigned to the Central Division as a neighborhood patrol officer.

    "We're concerned any time an officer is injured, especially if they're shot it is a serious concern for us," Henderson said. "He is in our prayers, his family is in our prayers, and we hope he's in yours as well."

    A number of community leaders joined Fort Worth officers and the officer's family at the hospital to show their support.

    "We're praying not only for the police officer, we're praying for the family, [and] we're praying [for] that person who was arrested, even, because his family members are going to be challenged by this whole thing," said Luther Perry of the Fort Worth Community Leadership Coalition.

    Fort Worth Mayor-elect Betsy Price also visited the hospital.

    "I wanted them to know we care deeply about all our officers, all of our firefighters, and everyone that's out there," she said. "It's just a shame that ... a husband or wife can leave and ... not come home that evening in the shape that they left in."

    Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, who was out of town Thursday, said in a statement that he hopes Hankins makes a full recovery.

    "We ask the citizens of Fort Worth to keep Officer Hankins, his family and his loved ones in their thoughts and prayers," he said. "An incident like the one we saw today is a reminder of the dangers our Fort Worth police officers face each and every day. It’s something that none of us should ever take for granted."

    Haywood's criminal history includes convictions for assault, drug and burglary charges.

    His address is less than two miles from the barbecue restaurant where the shooting occurred, but the restaurant owner said he had never seen Haywood until Thursday afternoon.

    NBC DFW's Scott Gordon and Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.