Sept. 17–FORT WORTH — Two Fort Worth police officers were shot Friday night as they responded to a call about a possible suicide in a house in Wedgwood, police officials said.
Officer Ray Azucema, a training officer, was shot multiple times. He was out of surgery late Friday and was expected to recover, police officials said at a news conference. Officer Xavier Serrano, a probationary officer, was hit in the chest, but the bullet was deflected by his bullet-proof vest, a police spokesman said.
Fort Worth police later tweeted that both officers were in stable condition, and one was expected to be released before morning.
At a 10:20 p.m. news conference a few blocks from the shooting scene, Sgt. Marc Povero, a police spokesman, said the initial call was received at 8:30 p.m. from the 3800 block of Wharton Drive.
“Two officers entered the house and found a dead elderly man in back bedroom,” he said. “Someone in the house said there might be a witness in a shed in the back yard. When officers attempted to enter the shed, someone fired at them.”
The officers fired back.
The suspect remained in the shed at the time of the news conference, Povero said. Officers were “operating with extreme caution” by lobbing gas canisters at the shed from a distance.
Fort Worth police confirmed just before midnight that the suspect was found deceased inside the shed, but the cause of death was not disclosed.
Neighbors reported hearing at least four gunshots. Dozens of police units converged on the residential neighborhood in far south Fort Worth, including SWAT units. Neighbors within a few blocks were asked to leave their houses until the situation stabilized.
Whether the person in the house committed suicide had not been confirmed by late Friday, Povero said.
At a news conference at JPS Hospital, Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald and Mayor Betsy Price were joined by officer Matt Pearce, who was badly injured in March when he was shot while chasing fugitives.
He is one of three officers shot in Tarrant County this year. Euless officer David S. Hofer was killed March 1 while responding to a call at a city park and was ambushed by a 22-year-old drug addict who previously threatened to kill police.
Two weeks later, Pearce was shot and was hospitalized for two months.
Arlington police officer Eddie Johnston was wounded in a shootout with a murder suspect in April. He was treated and released a few hours after being shot.
On July 7, five Dallas police officers were killed when a sniper opened fire at the end of a rally protesting the killings of black Americans by police. They were:
Officer Patrick Zamarripa, 32, of Fort Worth; Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, 48, of Burleson; Sgt. Michael Smith, 55, of Carrollton; Michael Krol, 40, who had lived in Burleson and Fort Worth; and DART officer Brent Thompson, 40, of Corsicana.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3
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