ABILENE, Texas — UPDATE (4:30 p.m.): According to the APD, the suspect who pulled a weapon on officers on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 22, remains in critical condition in a local hospital.
The 36-year-old male is facing a charge of first degree felony aggravated assault on a peace officer that carries a bond of $1 million. Three other charges are pending. His name is being withheld at this time.
APD Police Chief Marcus Dudley issued the following statement:
"Our officers do their best to avoid circumstances where lethal force has to be used. In this instance, a man appeared to be entering a vehicle that contained what looked like drugs - and then placed a child inside that vehicle. Our officer announced himself and gave specific orders that were ignored. The result was a man pulling out a stolen handgun from the back of his waistline, and he was shot.
In law enforcement, when a split-second decision has to be made, we hope we have trained well enough to protect the community and officers alike. We understand that we will be judged based on the facts involved with an incident. Our department makes it a point to gather and release those facts in an expeditious manner to the extent we legally can.
We ask our Citizens to keep all involved in this incident in their thoughts and prayers for healing.
We await the outcome of an independent investigation being conducted by the Department of Public Safety- Texas Rangers. It is understandable that this investigation may take some time.”
ORIGINAL STORY: A man who Abilene Police say had a gun was shot Sunday evening.
According to the APD, at approximately 6:30 p.m. Sunday, a call was received requesting police check a home on North 9th Street because a neighbor was concerned about a broken window.
Officers arrived and found a vehicle in the home's driveway, but no one was in the vehicle at the time. Police say they noticed what appeared to be illegal narcotics in the vehicle. Seeing there was no active burglary, officers began to formulate a plan to address the illegal narcotics, the APD said.
While formulating the plan, officers saw a man approach the driver’s side of the vehicle. An officer identified himself as a police officer to the man and ordered him to show his hands.
That when police say he instead reached towards the back of his waistline and retrieved a handgun. The officer fired at the man, striking him at least once in the torso area.
Officers determined there was a child was in the vehicle during the incident. The unharmed child was quickly removed from the area and reunited with family.
Officers on scene then began to provide medical aid. The suspect was transported to the hospital and was listed in critical condition with a gunshot wound.
In accordance with administrative policies, the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. The incident is being investigated concurrently with the Texas Rangers.