Surveillance video shows Dallas police officer getting in a shootout with carjackers
Dallas police released intense video of the shooting and carjacking of a plain clothes officer earlier this week.
Officer Nathaniel Chapman, a member of DPD since 1999, was in an unmarked car, a Dodge Challenger, conducting surveillance near Northwest Highway and Harry Hines Boulevard shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Video from a private business nearby shows the suspect pull up behind Officer Chapman's car, blocking it in.
The video shows three suspects run toward the car.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said at least two of the three suspects had guns at the time, adding that the officer complied with the carjackers to give himself space, then pulled his service weapon.
In the video, you can see the muzzle flashes from the guns of the suspects as Chapman backed away from his car, before returning fire.
Dallas police said the suspects fired at least nine shots at Chapman from close range, with Chapman returning fire.
None of the suspects were shot.
The officer was hit in the left leg. Garcia said his officer is lucky to be alive, calling the officer a "warrior."
"Here is an officer doing his job, working to protect the people of our city from violent crime, when he becomes a victim himself," Garcia said.
The chief of police said it’s likely the carjackers had no idea they were carjacking, and ultimately shooting at, a cop.
The carjacking suspects then got into his car and drove off. The vehicle was found abandoned a short distance away.
"It was very obvious to them when they heard the radio traffic of an officer having been shot, which is probably one of the reasons that they dumped it so quick," Garcia said.
On Thursday, police announced that three suspects from Louisiana were arrested in connection to the shootout.
Nineteen-year-old Redricous Lewis 17-year-old Redtravion Polk and 18-year-old Xavier Cook were arrested in Shreveport on Wednesday, just hours after the shooting.
Dallas police said evidence from the crime scene was able to connect the suspects to Louisiana.
Investigators said they recovered three firearms, two pistols and a rifle, used in the shooting. Garcia said the caliber of bullets matched shell casings found at the crime scene.
Chief Garcia would not elaborate on evidence recovered at the crime scene, but said that evidence and further investigation led to the identities of three suspects, adding that the suspects are from Louisiana and had previous juvenile records.
Garcia said he would not be surprised if the suspects are connected to other crimes in the Dallas area.
"These individuals did not come into Dallas just to have a good time," Garcia said.
Shreveport, Louisiana jail records state that Redcrious Lewis was "located in reference to an attempted homicide of a police officer."
The description from the Shreveport jail page said "during the search [Lewis] jumped from a second floor window and fled from officers on foot."
All three suspects are charged with aggravated robbery in connection to the incident.
More charges are expected, and the three suspects are in the process of being brought back to Dallas to face charges.
Dallas police said the vehicle the suspects used to block Officer Chapman's car was also stolen, and the suspects may have been trying to steal the unmarked police car, to have a different ride back to Louisiana.
Officer Chapman is now out of the hospital.
Chief Garcia said the veteran officer was in good spirits and was ready to get back to work, but added that no one should have to go through this kind of traumatic encounter.
"He put his life on the line, really, to protect the residents of this city, because had it not been his car, there is someone else whose car was going to be carjacked that night. That is 100% fact," the chief said.
This is the eighth shooting involving a Dallas police officer this year.