What to Know
- Denton police shoot an armed man who fired on police and was "holding" a woman.
- Man reportedly fired the weapon several times and pointed gun outside the residence more than once.
- The man and woman were living together and police said there were previous calls to the residence for domestic violence.
Denton police shot an armed man early Wednesday morning who they say shot at officers while "holding a woman."
The shooting took place shortly after 2 a.m. at Pace’s Crossing apartments located along southbound Interstate 35E.
Officers were first dispatched at around 12:30 a.m. after a 911 caller reported hearing screaming and loud noises coming from an apartment. When the officers arrived, they knocked on the door several times but got no answer and left after they did not hear any disturbance coming inside the apartment, police said.
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Two hours later, the same 911 caller reported hearing screaming and loud pops that the caller said may have been gunshots.
Officers went back out to the complex and Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon said officers tried to contact the gunman, who was inside a ground floor apartment with the woman.
The officers told the man to leave the apartment so they could check on everyone inside, but the suspect refused and officers heard what sounded like gunfire coming from the apartment, police said.
At multiple times, Denton police said officers reported seeing the door open and a hand with a gun pointing outside for a moment before going back inside again.
At one point, the 39-year-old gunman walked out of the apartment holding the 29-year-old woman and a pistol.
Dixon said despite being provoked by the man, the officers created distance while telling him to drop his gun.
Dixon said when the man fired his gun at officers, two of the three officers returned fire, striking him twice. Police immediately removed the gun and the woman and then provided first aid to the injured man.
The man, whose identity is not being released, is being treated for his gunshot injuries. Dixon said the man was struck in the torso and that his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
The officers and the woman were not hurt. It is unknown what kind of relationship she had with the gunman, but police officials said the two lived together. Police said there were previous domestic violence calls from the apartment in the past.
Police did not explicitly say the woman was being held hostage or against her will, but they did say the man was "holding" her.
"We just know that he was holding her, and not holding hands but holding around her body. What that posture looks like we don't know," Dixon said.
More information is expected as body camera footage is reviewed and the investigation unfolds.
"I think this highlights the ongoing dangers that we're seeing with domestic violence calls," Dixon said.
"The potential for violence with officers responding to domestic violence calls are always high up there. They're very fluid, very tense, very emotionally wrapped calls for service," Dixon said. "Police officers obviously don't know what's on the other side of the door when they get here, they're just responding to the information they're getting from the 911 call, so they're always going to be one of the most dangerous calls that police officers can respond to."
Dixon said some bullets were found to have entered other apartments from shots fired prior to the call to 911.
The Texas Rangers are investigating the officer-involved shooting. Dixon said there is body camera footage available.
Two officers have been placed on administrative leave, as is protocol, while the investigation is underway. One officer has been with the force for two years and the other for three years. Their names have not been released.