DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas officer has died after he was hit by a suspected intoxicated driver early Saturday morning, police said.
Police identified the officer as Mitchell Penton, who joined the department in February 2019.
The incident happened at around 1:45 a.m. as Penton was blocking traffic for a crash in the northbound lanes of North Central Expressway at Walnut Hill Lane, police said.
Penton was standing outside his vehicle, which had its emergency lights on, when he was hit by a 32-year-old driver who was going at a high rate of speed, police said.
The officer was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.
A passenger in the suspect’s vehicle was also taken to a hospital for injuries to her chest and a laceration on her face, police said.
Police said the driver, later identified as Phillip Mabry, was arrested for intoxication manslaughter on a police officer and intoxication assault for the passenger that was in his vehicle.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that this morning at approximately 0125 a @DallasPD officer, working an accident scene, was struck and killed by a DWI driver. Our department is once again mourning, but we are heartened by the strength of his family. Godspeed my brother,” Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said in a tweet.
The officer’s body was moved from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office earlier in the morning. Garcia shared a video of first responders lined up as the body was moved.
Tragic night for us. This, a small sign of respect and admiration for a fallen brother and his family. Thank you to all Fire/EMS and to Baylor Medical Center for your tireless efforts. Rest easy, hero. We’ll take it from here. pic.twitter.com/Dxu0AO06a8
— Eddie Garcia (@DPDChiefGarcia) February 13, 2021
“Tragic night for us. This, a small sign of respect and admiration for a fallen brother and his family. Thank you to all Fire/EMS and to Baylor Medical Center for your tireless efforts. Rest easy, hero. We’ll take it from here,” Garcia said in a tweet.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson released a statement on the officer’s death:
“Dallas mourns today over the devastating loss of one of our police officers. He died far too young, but the measure of a life is not longevity, but what someone does with the time they have. And this officer dedicated his time to serving our great city in an inherently dangerous job. We are forever indebted to him and forever heartbroken by this tragedy. I am praying today for his family, friends, and colleagues. I know our city will provide them with love and support as we seek justice.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also issued a statement Saturday:
“Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of the Dallas Police Department officer who was killed in the line of duty this morning,” said Governor Abbott. “This terrible loss is a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while serving and protecting our communities. Cecilia and I ask our fellow Texans to join us in lifting up the officer’s family and the entire Dallas Police Department in prayer during this difficult time.”
The investigation is ongoing.