DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County District Attorney Fatih Johnson announced today that her office will seek the death penalty against the man accused of shooting two Dallas police officers and a loss prevention officer at a Home Depot store last month.
A grand jury returned five counts — including Capital Murder and Attempted Capital Murder – against Armando Luis Juarez.
Dallas police Officers Rogelio Santander, Crystal Almeida and Home Depot security guard Scott Painter were all shot on April 24 after Juarez was detained for “acting suspiciously” in the store near U.S. Highway 75 and Forest Lane.
Once in the loss prevention office it was discovered there was a felony warrant out for Juarez. An officer was verifying that information in the parking lot when he heard a “shots fired” broadcast over his police radio. Officers Santander, Almeida and Mr. Painter were all found on the floor of the loss-prevention office with gunshot wounds. Officer Santander died later from his injuries. Both Officer Almeida and Mr. Painter were hospitalized for weeks.
“For the death of Mr. Rogelio Santander, we are seeking the death penalty on Mr. Juarez,” DA Johnson said during an afternoon press conference.
After the shooting Juarez fled from the scene in a pickup. A manhunt across the city ended with a police chase and Juarez crashing the truck in a residential neighborhood near Dallas Love Field Airport. The 30-year-old is also facing other felony charges.
Johnson explained, “In addition to the Capital Murder case and in addition to the Attempted Capital Murder case there were two other offenses that the grand jury returned indictments for — Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Public Servant – and that did relate to the chase itself.”
Though it may take years for the death penalty case to go to trial, Johnson said whenever it does her office will be ready to try the case. “We will continue to seek justice in this case,” she said. “I am so pleased with my office — the staff who has worked so tirelessly in pursuing justice on behalf of this family, on behalf of the recovering officers in this case and also on behalf of the citizens of Dallas County.”