Troopers Who Shot and Killed Armed Driver in South Dallas Identified - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Troopers Who Shot and Killed Armed Driver in South Dallas Identified

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Calls for Transparency After Shooting of South Dallas Driver

    The Texas Rangers and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office say they are investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting in South Dallas late Saturday, while community members and city leaders are calling for transparency in the investigation. (Published Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019)

    Two DPS troopers who shot and killed a man late Saturday after he reportedly pulled a handgun on them during a traffic stop have been identified.

    Lt. Lonny Haschel, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, identified the troopers as Joshua Engleman from Palo Pinto County, he has seven years of service and Robert Litvin from Parker County, he has three years of service.

    The Texas Rangers and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office continue to investigate a deadly officer-involved shooting in South Dallas Aug. 17, while community members and city leaders are calling for transparency in the investigation.

    The DPS said two troopers attempted to pull over the driver of a silver passenger car Saturday along Elsie Faye Heggins Street -- but instead of stopping, the driver kept going.

    Troopers Shoot, Kill Suspect Who Pulled Gun on Them: DPS

    [DFW] Troopers Shoot, Kill Suspect Who Pulled Gun on Them: DPS

    The Texas Rangers and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office are investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting in South Dallas. Two DPS troopers fired at and killed a man late Saturday after he reportedly pulled a handgun on them. The incident comes as DPS faces mounting criticism from some community members and city leaders, who've accused them of "over-policing" the area.

    (Published Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019)

    On Wednesday, the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office identified the driver as 27-year-old Schaston Theodore Lamarr Hodge.

    The troopers followed him a short distance to a home near the intersection of Lagow Street and Jamaica Street, where he pulled into a driveway, the DPS said.

    When the troopers went to speak with him, they said Hodge pulled out a handgun.

    "The troopers fired at the suspect, striking him," said Haschel. "The troopers immediately rendered first aid and called for emergency medical services."

    Hodge later died at the hospital. His identity was also confirmed by a cousin Monday.

    DPS said there were no other people in the car with Hodge -- and no troopers were hurt.

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    DPS was brought into Dallas at the request of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall to help a severely understaffed police department combat a spike in violent crime.

    Saturday's incident was the first trooper-involved shooting since DPS arrived in South Dallas.

    Residents said they heard shots ring out and raced to the scene.

    "As we turned down the street I hear a chopper sound like, 'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,'" resident Dewayne Carson said.

    Carson said he saw the lifeless driver being taken away, but remained cautious when it comes to what led to the deadly shooting.

    "Before I say anything I want to see the body cam," he said. "Because I see if they were chasing him, that doesn't mean shoot him."

    Haschel said investigators recovered Hodge's handgun at the scene and confirmed both troopers had body cameras turned on.

    This incident comes as DPS faces mounting criticism from some residents and city leaders, who've accused them of "over-policing" the South Dallas community.

    Earlier this month, Dallas City Council member Adam Bazaldua, who represents South Dallas, asked DPS to "move their troopers from South Dallas and get back to the drawing board with DPD."

    "Our hearts and prayers and love goes out to the family of the deceased," Bazaldua said.

    He is treading carefully while asking for transparency in the investigation.

    "I think it's important that we learn the facts before we jump to conclusions," he said.

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    Bazaldua did not strike the same tone Sunday that he struck at the meeting where he criticized the presence of Texas DPS in his district.

    "I believe there has been a change in the amount of DPS officers that we've seen and even in the level of engagement that we've seen," he said. "I believe the troopers have made adjustments and gone above and beyond and including community input as part of this process."

    Carson said he did not necessarily feel safer in the neighborhood due to the presence of state troopers. He said a trooper pulled him over about two weeks ago. 

    "I got stopped because I had a tassel in the mirror and that's illegal," Carson said. "But when they stopped me all they wanted to do is check my car."

    Like most drivers stopped by DPS in South Dallas, Carson got off with a warning.

    But he said he still feels constantly targeted.

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    "I feel I can't do anything about it. I just feel, like, useless. Like they can do whatever to me," he said. "We can't even go to the park, you know. It's just too much. It's too intense."

    Dallas police insist the partnership is having a positive impact. Since it began earlier this summer, they said they've made more than 400 arrests, seized more than 70 illegal guns and removed nearly 40 pounds of illegal drugs from the streets.

    In July, Dallas police said crime fell in the South Dallas area by 24% compared to June.

    "That's what the whole effort is about -- to make the residents feel safe," Haschel said. "[We want them to feel] safe in their communities so that their children can go out and play and be part of that community. So that's what it's all about. We'll be there to support Dallas police."

    The names of the troopers involved in shooting have not been released. Haschel said both were placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine for this type of investigation.

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