JUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Four people were shot after a police officer responded to a call at a house in Justin, just southwest of Denton.
Justin police Officer Kevin James was sent to the house in the 500 block of W. 4th Street, just before 9:00 a.m. Thursday.
At a press conference, Denton Co. Emergency Services Chief Jody Gonzales said the initial call to police was for a “suicidal subject.” Gonzales said a man was “acting strange” and police assistance was requested.
When Officer James arrived he was immediately met with gunfire. Justin Fire Marshal Robert Stubblefield said he believed the suspect had a shotgun. The shooting suspect and Officer James exchanged gunfire.
The four shooting victims include the Justin police officer, the shooting suspect and two members the suspect’s family. Justin City Manager Mike Evans said, “They have just taken them. And everybody’s heading to hospitals.”
The 29-year-old shooting suspect, who family members identified as Bodie Stewart, was taken to the hospital by ground ambulance and pronounced dead.
Officer James was taken to the hospital by air ambulance and is in good condition after being shot in the left arm. CBS 11 News has learned that James’ wife and son, along with Justin Police Chief Bill Brooks, are all with him and he is alert and talking.
Chief Brooks said Officer James has been with the Justin Police Department for four years, but has been a police officer for 20 years.
Stewart’s aunt, Teresa Reece, said her nephew shot his father, Bobby Stewart, and his grandfather, Bud Stewart.
“Bodie had problems, very much psychological problems,” said Reece, “and nothing I’m saying is to justify what happened here today, but there is a part of him that I loved so much. He had a tenderness, a childlike tenderness in his heart that was so pure and sweet and so loving. It’s amazing that there’s two sides to him.”
Investigators are now trying to determine if the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot or was fatally hit by a bullet from the officer’s gun.
The family of Bodie Stewart told CBS 11 they are grieving his death, and are sad for Officer James, the Justin Police Department and their two family members who were also wounded.
“I am so broken and remorseful that this situation happened,” Reece said, “grieving for the police officer and his family as much as we are for our family, I absolutely hate this.”
City manager Evans told CBS 11, “It’s a shock to everybody. We’re a small country town. This will unnerve a lot of people, undoubtedly.”
The Denton County Sheriff’s Office and Northlake Police Department are helping cover for Justin Police while the department is dealing with the shooting investigation and injury to their partner.
The last officer involved shooting in the city of Justin was in the 1920s.