Suspect Killed, Undercover Officer Wounded In Amtrak Shooting
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - An undercover police officer was shot in the hand, a bystander was struck in the shoulder and a suspect was killed in a shooting aboard an Amtrak train car near Dallas’s Union Station Monday, said Dallas Police Deputy Chief Randy Blankenbaker.
Three plainclothes narcotics officers were performing an inspection aboard the train car and approached a “suspicious character,” Blankenbaker said. The officers found a weapon on the man and a confrontation ensued. Witnesses say the man began freely shooting the pistol inside the train.
The suspect was killed at the scene, one plainclothes officer was shot in the hand and a bystander was shot in the shoulder, Blankenbaker said during an evening media conference. Neither of the wounded individuals sustained life-threatening injuries. The victims were all taken to Baylor Medical Center.
On Tuesday, Chief David Brown said ballistics show the suspect did not fire his weapon. He said the man pulled out the gun and pointed it at the officers, causing them to defend themselves.
The deputy chief said he was told the officers boarding the train car to investigate was not out of the norm.
“My understanding is that this is a fairly routine investigation,” he added.
Late Monday, Dallas Police identified the officer as Sr. Cpl. Samuel Hussey, a 22-year veteran of the force currently assigned to the narcotics division. The suspect was identified as Stephen Ray Malone Jr., 32, of Waterford, Mich., a town about 50 miles northeast of Ann Arbor and 30 miles southeast of Flint.
Malone Jr. died of apparent gunshot wounds, officials said, but the final cause of death is pending a routine toxicology report. Both the injured officer and bystander were released from the hospital Tuesday.
Shortly after Monday’s shooting, Dallas Police officers began whisking witnesses away in squad cars, some with and some without handcuffs, reporter Robbie Owens said from the scene. They were returned to Union Station later in the evening.
Hussey asked that the department tell his wife that he is OK before announcing the details to the public. Officers are not allowed to carry cell phones while working undercover.
“My understanding is that (Hussey) is in good spirits considering everything that happened and that his wounds are not life threatening,” Blankenbaker said.
Witnesses aboard the train described a chaotic scene that developed almost immediately.
They say the officers approached Malone Jr. and asked to check his bags.
“All of a sudden, I heard a gunshot. And when I heard the gunshot, I yelled, ‘Everybody get on the floor!’ And I got on the floor,” said rider Bernice Williams.
Witness Jonathan Beaubien said he was about five rows back from the shooting. He also said it happened quickly, and said he saw few signs of an altercation or confrontation before the shooting started. Beaubien was traveling from Gainesville to the East Texas town of Mineola on the Amtrak train.
“I’m pretty shook up, I mean, dude just gets shot and killed like five seats in front of me,” Beaubien said.
Kevin James, a Chicago resident, was on the phone when the gunshots roared through the train car. He said he immediately ducked and heard Hussey cry out that he had been shot in his hand.
When James arose he said he found a hole shot through the seat where his head had been resting.
“I guess I ducked just at the right time,” he said. “I hate to say he had it coming, but in this case, I think justice was served.”
Both Amtrak and Dallas police are investigating. The eastbound Texas Eagle Train 22 was scheduled to leave Dallas at 3:40 p.m., bound for Chicago. The initial shooting call came in at 3:48 p.m., records show.
Waterford, Mich., where the suspect resides, is about 300 miles from Chicago.
An Amtrak spokesman in Chicago said the train was delayed “while local police and Amtrak investigated an incident involving a Dallas Police officer who boarded the train at Dallas Union Station.”
Blankenbaker would not discuss the case further, citing the ongoing investigation. He said officers are compiling physical evidence at the scene and interviewing remaining witnesses.
DART rail and TRE train service at Union Station was halted for about an hour. Both of those services are now running on schedule, DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said.
According to Michigan police records, Malone Jr. is a white man who stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds.
He was sentenced in July 2001 for two counts of stealing and concealing property worth more than $20,000 and worth more than $1,000 and less than $20,000, Michigan records show. Both of those charges were from Oakland County in Michigan.
Matt Goodman, Selena Hernandez, Robbie Owens, Carol Cavazos and J.D. Miles contributed reporting.