Fort Worth

Armed Man Recovering After Being Shot by Police During Crisis Call

Fort Worth Chief of Police Neil Noakes praises officers for patient, empathetic and brave response to a call about an armed man in crisis

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A man who was reportedly suicidal and threatening his wife is recovering after being shot by Fort Worth police officers responding to a man in crisis call.

According to Fort Worth Police, officers were called to a home on the 5600 block of Wedgworth Road at about 7:45 p.m. on March 14 where a woman said her husband had a gun, was suicidal and that he had threatened her.

Officers arrived at the couple's home at about 7:45 p.m. and found the man sitting on the porch with a handgun.

According to police, officers told the man to put down the gun, but he refused to comply. Police said during the encounter, the man threatened the officers and that three of them fired at him.

Police provided first aid after the shooting and the man was transported to an area hospital. On March 23, police said the man was still hospitalized and was listed in stable condition.

Fort Worth Chief of Police Neil Noakes released body camera video of the shooting during a news conference on March 23 and said that the officers who responded to the call did a phenomenal job.

"I want to say how proud I am of the actions of the officers that I saw in this video. They were patient, they were compassionate, they were professional, they showed empathy, they also showed bravery. They put themselves in harm's way to protect citizens and when they heard gunfire they moved toward the gunfire instead of away from it," Noakes said.

Fort Worth Police said their Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) was en route to the call but that the shooting took place before they arrived. Noakes said the CIT is in demand daily and that there are ongoing discussions about how to make the team more efficient.

Noakes praised the officers for trying to connect with the man who was in distress and for working patiently to try to de-escalate the situation in the moments leading up to the shooting.

"Quite frankly, I don't know that anyone else from the CIT could have done any better and this officer actually has been trained and certified as a mental health peace officer himself," Noakes said.

The chief said the department now begins mental health training for officers in the academy and that they are also working to train and certify existing officers as certified mental health peace officers. Noakes said there are 856 officers in the department currently trained to that level. That's about half of the department's roughly 1,700 uniformed officers.

Noakes said obtaining certification can take time because the state requires an officer have a couple of years of service before they can be certified as a mental health peace officer.

"Our goal is to have every officer in the department, as soon as they're eligible, to have access to that training to be certified," Noakes said.

The Fort Worth Police Department's Major Case Unit and the Internal Affairs Unit are conducting investigations. The Tarrant County District Attorney's Office is also looking into the shooting.

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