By Stephen English Fort Worth Star-Telegram
FORT WORTH, Texas — Garrett Hull, an undercover police officer, was shot in the head while trying to stop suspects in an armed robbery and is in critical condition, Fort Worth chief of police Joel Fitzgerald said.
The shooting happened shortly after 12:30 a.m. at the Los Vaqueros bar and restaurant in the 400 block of W. Biddison Street , police said.
Undercover officers were following what Fitzgerald called a “robbery crew.”
Three suspects in a series of area robberies were being staked out at the restaurant, police said, when the suspects tried to rob the restaurant.
In a confrontation, police opened fire and killed one of the three robbery suspects, he said. The suspects have not been identified by police. No other officers were wounded, police said.
“Unfortunately, here we are again, feeding into the collective hurt that we’ve had in the North Texas region over the last few years,” Fitzgerald said in a press conference at about 4:30 a.m.
A representative of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association said Hull was “fighting for his life. And he’s a hero.”
Fitzgerald said three people have been shot by this group as it has committed robberies.
As a uniformed officer and Hull went to make an arrest, one of the robbery suspects exiting Los Vaqueros opened fire, Fitzgerald said, shooting the officer in the head.
Officers returned fire and killed one suspect, he said.
Fellow officers rendered aid to Hull and he was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, Fitzgerald said.
The other two suspects were apprehended, police said.
Police in Fort Worth are looking for three robbery suspects they say are targeting bars that cater to Hispanic customers. In the last month, four bars have been robbed by the three suspects.
The three suspects were wanted in a series of increasingly violent robberies targeting Hispanic-oriented establishments, police said.
“These individuals were being tracked and believed to be involved with many other similar robberies, not just in Fort Worth but possibly in other local jurisdictions,” said police spokesman Bradley Perez.