Woman Killed, 3 Hurt in Shooting at South Dallas Car Wash

Chief shares police surveillance video of Car Wash that city wants closed

A 56-year-old woman is dead and four others wounded after a Sunday night gun battle at a South Dallas car wash, police say.

At a Monday afternoon news conference, Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said 40 shell casing were recovered from shots fired by multiple suspects.

"We too are concerned," Hall said about this and other recent violent crimes.

Police were called just before 10 p.m. Sunday to Jim's Car Wash, at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Myrtle Street, just a few blocks from Fair Park.

Police said 56-year-old Sheila Sanders died in the shooting, and three men were shot and wounded. Police said the wounded men are in stable condition.

Authorities said a fifth person was apparently trampled by a crowd and also injured.

Sanders was the wife of a car wash worker according to Gary Adams, who also works at the car wash.

Adams said Sanders was an innocent victim.

"She's a real good friend of mine. She didn't bother nobody," Adams said.

Tire marks on Martin Luther King Boulevard in front of the car wash were left behind from the wild driving Adams said is common on Sunday nights at the location.

"They was doing 360s and stuff, earlier. Law never showed up to break the crowd down," Adams said.

Hall shared surveillance video from a police camera posted in front of the car wash. People could be seen scattering as the shooting began from outside the car wash property, but many did not run. Hall said it showed that people in the area are not surprised by gunfire.

Police were not present at the car wash until after the shooting.

"They try to make it seem like the car wash is the problem. The car wash ain't the problem. The problem is out in the streets," Adams said."The whole community. It's trouble."

Dallas City Council Member Kevin Felder said the murder demonstrates why he has fought to close the car wash.

"This is not an isolated incident. There've been other incidents over the years. And so I think this community is tired of it. They let me know that when I first came into office," Felder said.

Earlier this year, the city's Board of Adjustment voted to declare that the car wash has an "adverse effect" on nearby properties. The board meets again on June 19 to decide on the date for permanent closure.

Hall said detectives would welcome help from the public to find suspects in this shooting. A $5,000 Crime Stoppers reward is being offered for anyone offering information that leads to an arrest and indictment. Tips can be made to 214-373-8477.

The shooting comes after a month in which police saw a spike in murders, leading them to boost the number of detectives in the homicide unit.

The Dallas police force is currently around 700 officers smaller than it was in 2011.

Crime and police staffing is a key issue in the Dallas mayoral runoff election Saturday.

Candidate Scott Griggs, currently a member of the city council, spoke about what he considers a crisis.

"We are experiencing a public safety crisis and I will address this public safety crisis. We are down to 2,900 officers," Griggs said.

In 2011, city records showed the police department had 3,690 officers.

At the forum, candidate Eric Johnson, a State Representative, agreed with the need for more police officers, but rejected Griggs' assessment of the situation.

"I beg to differ with the characterization of our city being in a public safety crisis right now," Johnson said. "Crime goes up and down. It spikes in the summer. We know that. But, I take issue with our city being in a public safety crisis. I don't think that's good for business at all."

Hall said she had several programs in place to address summer crime and that detectives would work hard to solve these murders.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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