Man Shot During Traffic Stop by Dallas Police; Gun Recovered

Man had been shot 8 times before during a robbery

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, Nov 10, 2011  |  Updated 9:42 AM CDT
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Antonette Erwin has a lot of questions after her husband is shot by the Dallas police during a traffic stop.

Amanda Fitzpatrick

Antonette Erwin has a lot of questions after her husband is shot by the Dallas police during a traffic stop.

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A traffic stop went horribly wrong overnight in Dallas, according to the wife of a man shot by police officers.

Reginald Erwin, 35, was pulled over by the Dallas police at about 10 p.m. Wednesday night for a traffic violation near Bexar and Wells.

When officers approached his car, Erwin reached for something inside the vehicle. One of the officers, thinking it was a weapon, fired one shot that hit Erwin in the hip.

Erwin drove off and called his wife, Antonette. As officers caught up to him on the 4700 block of Colonial, his wife heard the entire confrontation through his mobile phone.

"When they found him he was at a house on the phone. He was on the phone with me. I’m listening to the conversation as it is happening," Antonette said. "The whole time I’m on the phone listening to the whole conversation, I’m yelling, 'Baby, baby, baby.' They have him on the ground. I hear the police tackling him up."

Officers took Erwin into custody and then transported him to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas for treatment of his gunshot wound.

Erwin's wife said she doesn't believe her husband was reaching for a weapon and that he is a victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I'm not buying that they felt like he was reaching at a weapon, because I’ve seen it on the news several times if the suspect is reaching for a weapon they are going to shoot that car up," Antonette said. "In this case they did not shoot the car up, but my husband is laying in the hospital now in serious condition."

Erwin underwent surgery early Thursday morning and is now listed in stable, but critical condition, according to his wife.

Antonette told NBC 5 that her husband is a former truck driver who had been robbed once before while on the job.  During that robbery, he was shot eight times and is now disabled.

"He’s a real sweet person, very kind hearted -- give his last to anybody" Antonette said. "I don’t understand why no one can tell me why he was shot. Thats all I want to know. Okay, if he was running from you and you take him to jail, I don’t have a problem with that, but to shoot him and you not knowing he had a weapon or not?"

So far, the Dallas Police Department's official statement on the shooting is that Erwin didn't comply with the officer's directions and that when the officer feared for his life, he fired his weapon.

Neither of the officers were injured in the incident and a handgun was recovered at the arrest location.

"My theory, they felt he was a drug dealer and they thought they were going to find some drugs. If that’s the case, he is not a drug dealer. He is a man [who] stays at home with his family ... always helping somebody," Antonette said. "Why did this happen? I don’t know."

NBC 5's Amanda Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.

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