AZLE (CBSDFW.COM) – A police officer in Azle was forced to fire his weapon Sunday night, and an armed suspect is now dead. The incident happened at about 8:30 p.m. at a home located in the 600 block of Alameda Road. Authorities were called there for reports of a man shooting a gun.
Neighbors stated that the man who died was suicidal, saying that he did not want to live anymore just moments before police showed up at the home. They added that the man had a history of firing his gun, often at his hallucinations, but found himself unable to pull the trigger to take his own life.
Law enforcement officials explained that, when they arrived at the scene, they found a man with a pistol. The suspect was told to drop the gun, but he did not comply with the officer’s request. The man instead began walking across the street and toward the officer, with the firearm pointed at him.
Witnesses frantically pleaded for the suspect to stop.
The officer ended up firing multiple shots, hitting the suspect in the torso. The man was transported to JPS Hospital in Fort Worth by air ambulance, but was pronounced dead about an hour later. He was later identified as 51-year-old Mark Minnick.
Neighbors said that the officer had no choice but to open fire on Minnick. “I heard the police: ‘Put the gun down! Put the gun down! Put the gun down!’ I saw him raise it and I said, ‘No! Mark! No!” recalled witness Laura Clestino, who was among those begging for the man to lower his gun. “I don’t remember seeing a gun flash or anything. I just heard the bullets. I think there were six bullets.”
The police officer, identified as 26-year-old Angel Perez, was not injured during the altercation. He has been on the force since December 2014, and is now on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. The Azle Police Department has called for help from the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers to look into the shooting further.