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WEATHERFORD (CBS11) – A Weatherford man was shot and killed by police after a pursuit early Tuesday morning.
Officers say the suspect had a warrant out for his arrest from a stabbing incident at a convenience store on Saturday.
Tuesday evening, police declined to name the suspect killed, until next of kin were notified.
Police say they attempted to stop a tan SUV for running a stop sign on Ric Williamson Memorial Hwy around 4:16 this morning.
The vehicle did not stop, and officers began pursuit. The chase moved to I-20 East and then Bethel Road.
Police say at one point the suspect slammed on his brakes, put his SUV in reverse and rammed the rear of his vehicle into the front of the pursuing patrol car. The suspect eventually lost control of the SUV and ran off the road.
Police say the man then exited and walked toward the driver’s side of the lead patrol unit, carrying an empty baby seat in front of him – but Commander Chris Crawford says officers did not know whether or not a child was in the seat.
“You never know. There could have been a child in that seat. We don’t know whether his intent was to fool the officers or anything at that point. That’s part of the investigation, “said Crawford.
Crawford says the suspect ignored the officers’ commands to stop and continued to move toward the patrol unit. When he reached the lead patrol unit the suspect threw the baby seat into the patrol vehicle and jumped into the driver’s seat.
Crawford says the officer’s vehicle was still running and there was a visible duty weapon within arm’s reach of the suspect. One officer shot several times through the front right passenger window of the patrol unit striking the suspect, killing him.
Police say just one officer fired shots. The Weatherford officer who fired the shots is on administrative leave pending an investigation.
“The patrol car was running and one of our officer’s weapons was right there next to (the suspect) in the patrol vehicle. One of our officers opened fire and shot the suspect several times, or shot at him several times. We’re not exactly sure how many times he was struck, but a short time later he was pronounced deceased at the scene,” said Crawford.
Once the suspect was identified, police became aware that the suspect had an active felony warrant for his arrest that had been issued prior to the vehicle pursuit for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
As officers worked the case later Tuesday morning, they received a tip that the home where the suspect was living was filled with gas.
Crawford says, it appeared the gas line was intentionally cut from inside the house. The leak posed a danger to the community, and several neighboring businesses and homes were evacuated until the gas line could be shut off and secured.
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