TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Tuesday afternoon Arlington police confirmed the officer shot while serving a felony warrant is 21-year veteran Officer Charles Lodatto.
Officer Lodatto and the shooting suspect were both shot in a residential neighborhood in Saginaw. The location of the shooting is just a few doors from the home of the 6-year-old girl found murdered earlier this month.
Saginaw Police Officer Damon Ing said, “We did initiate a search warrant here on Babbling Brook, in the furtherance of the investigation of the Alanna Gallagher murder. I am regretful to report that at this time we do have an officer down.”
Officers from the Saginaw Police Department, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and the North Texas Major Case Investigative Team were all present during the execution of the felony warrant. Officer Lodatto, who was part of the FBI task force investigating the Gallagher murder, was transported to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth where he underwent surgery.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon trauma surgeon Dr. William Witham said, “Officer Lodatto was shot this morning in the right groin. Thanks to the presence of mind of his officers and EMS they applied a tourniquet to his wound and frankly that probably saved his life.”
Dr. Witham said Officer Lodatto’s femoral artery, a large artery in the thigh, had been cut in half by a bullet. The bullet kept traveling and lodged in his hip socket. He said the officer remains in the Intensive Care Unit and is in guarded condition but is expected to, after several more surgeries, “be just fine.”
Police Chief Will Johnson said, “He [Lodatto] has a difficult road in front of him, but we’re very, very optimistic about his condition.”
MedStar EMS workers said the other person was shot in the head and taken to John Peter Smith Hospital. That person was 17-year-old Tyler Lane Holder. The teen is also said to be in critical condition.
A Tarrant County arrest warrant indicates Holder was linked to the Gallagher murder case by DNA.
North Texas resident Yolanda Sierra has paid close attention to the Alanna Gallagher case since the little girl’s body was found. Sierra even attended Alanna’s memorial and after seeing a picture of Holder said she saw him at the funeral, wearing t-shirt that said “wanted.” Sierra said she doesn’t know Holder but remembers him vividly. “I noticed him because he had that shirt on and you know to have a ‘wanted’ shirt on that’s a little inappropriate.”
One of Alanna’s co-parents, Karl Gallagher, was reached by phone Tuesday. He said it wasn’t “a good time to talk,” but that his family is praying for the injured officer.
CBS 11 News reporter Arezow Doost says investigators were at the Holder home several days after Alanna’s body was found. Officers reportedly confiscated several items believed related to the murder case. Arezow also spoke with Alanna’s grandmother, Linda McDaniel, Tuesday morning. The woman said the family had been suspicious of Holder. McDaniel said her family is praying that Holder lives, because of he did kill Alanna she wants to ask him why.
Neighbor Janis Hobbs was sitting outside her home on Babbling Brook Drive when she said she heard three shots fired. It was around 8:45 a.m. ” I heard pow, then there was a pause then I heard pow, pow — two more.”
Alanna Gallagher’s body was found bound and wrapped in a tarp on July 1. Police investigating the murder, along with the FBI, soon put up information on digital billboards across North Texas, highlighting a $10,000 reward for information in the case.
Just last week there were a number of events surrounding the murder investigation. First, a memorial setup to honor Alanna and a car in the family driveway were torched. The incident happened in the early morning hours of July 19. Later that same day police released home surveillance photos of two vehicles. The photos of the cars were taken around the time Alanna’s body was found.
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