DPD Chief: Alarming Increase in Ambushes on Officers

Dallas police say there were two incidents of suspects ambushing officers Monday

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    Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Monday there has been an alarming increase in felony assaults on officers in Dallas and across the nation in the last two years.

    Statistics cited by Brown indicate a 20 percent increase in felony assault on officers by suspects with weapons between 2010 and 2011. That increase represents the lives of 71 officers.

    Two Officer-Involved Shootings in 24 Hours

    [DFW] Two Officer-Involved Shootings in 24 Hours
    Dallas Police Chief David Brown says officers are lucky to be alive after two police involved shootings in the past 24 hours. The suspects died in both. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012)

    Police said 19-year-old Bryson Howard ambushed Officer Ronald Workman on Monday, shooting at the officer before turning the gun on himself.

    A bullet passed through Workman's driver's side window and struck his lapel microphone. The bullet was then deflected into Workman's neck and jaw -- where it remained Tuesday.

    Shot Fired at Officer Hit Lapel Microphone

    [DFW] Shot Fired at Officer Hit Lapel Microphone
    Dallas police said a shot fired at an officer hit his radio's lapel microphone. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012)

    "It's my opinion that [it's] by the grace and mercy of the good Lord that we don't have an officer in worse shape," said Brown. "It's very clear that was his intent. There's no question in our minds, during investigation, that was his intent to lure us there to ambush us."

    The shooting was the second incident of an attempted ambush of Dallas police officers on Monday.

    Earlier in the day, an aggravated robbery suspect hid behind a wall with a pointed weapon while waiting for officers to pass by, Brown said. The suspect was shot and killed by officers who took a tactical approach to rounding the corner.

    Brown said the department mandated in 2011 that all officers wear bulletproof vests when on the street. He added that the officers receive daily messages on their car computers designed to reinforce safety while working on the street.

    NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.