Updated 7/8 – 4:55 pm
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A Fort Worth Police Officer was shot during a Thursday afternoon altercation with a suspect, police say.
The officer, identified as 46-year-old Cliff Hankins, was working a suspicious person call in the 1100 block of East Berry street around 2:00 Thursday afternoon when he was shot.
Hankins tried to stop a talk to a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt in the 100 degree heat walking along the sidewalk outside of Robinson’s Bar-B-Que Restaurant a few blocks away. When he got out of his car, the man shot Hankins and fled.
People inside the restaurant came to the assistance of the officer shortly after the shooting, waiting with him until an ambulance could arrive. The officer was able to radio in his own call for help.
Chopper 11 was overhead as a number of officers surrounded a man matching the description of the suspect in a wooded area behind the shooting scene. Fort Worth Police say the man was hiding on a old tire. They loaded the man into a police car and drove him to the restaurant. The 25-year-old man, identified as Joe Nathan Haywood, was attended to by paramedics and was eventually arrested. He’s been charge with attempted capital murder.
Police also recovered a .9mm handgun they believe the man used to shoot the officer.
Hankins was transported by Medstar ambulance service to JPS Hospital. He was said to be talking with paramedics when he was brought to the hospital. Police say he was wearing a bulletproof vest, but that he was shot in the lower hip. He was taken into surgery immediately upon arrival to the hospital. Hankins came out of surgery Thursday evening and is now in fair condition.
Police chief Jerry Halstead was at the hospital when the officer arrived, and told members of the media he immediately began praying. “We all gathered in a circle, and held hands and prayed. And that spoke volumes to the solidarity of our community.”
Hankins, originally from Cleburne, is a 16-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department. He works as a community patrol officer in the central division.