Dallas Officer Shot During Pursuit, Five Arrested

Dallas police car | Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Image

A Dallas police officer was hospitalized after he was shot while pursuing a stolen vehicle in a covert operation in east Oak Cliff early Thursday morning.

Five people were arrested in connection to a shooting incident in the 3200 block of Easter Avenue shortly before 1 a.m.

As a news release from the Dallas Police Department explained, an unmarked police cruiser began to follow a vehicle being driven erratically. A person inside the suspect vehicle — which was later found to have been stolen — allegedly opened fire on the police car, striking an officer in the hip.

The suspect vehicle was eventually stopped in the 7200 block of Chesterfield Drive, with five suspects being arrested and two firearms allegedly recovered — one having reportedly been tossed during the chase. No officers fired weapons during the pursuit.

Two of the suspects were hospitalized, along with the injured police officer. One complained of chest pain and the other sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The police officer, identified only as a four-year veteran of the department, had surgery and is in stable condition.

A sixth suspect, a male, is still at large, although it is unclear whether he fled the vehicle during the pursuit or upon police intercepting it.

In an update posted on DPD Beat, police identified one of the arrested suspects as 17-year-old Jaheart Nickelberry. He has been charged with aggravated assault, evading arrest/detention, and motor vehicle aggravated robbery.

A second teen, a 15-year-old female who was not identified by name, was also charged with evading arrest/detention. Three other teens were released without charges.

The police chase began in Council Member Carolyn King Arnold’s District 4 and ended in Council Member Tennell Atkins’ District 8. The two districts have logged a combined total of 348 reports of stolen vehicles this year as of March 13, according to data from the City’s crime analytics dashboard. This is 16.4% more than the year prior over the same period.

Yet motor vehicle theft is only the third most prevalent crime in these two districts, topped by simple assaults and drug offenses — both of which are up from 2022.

DPD has been grappling with a longstanding officer deficit, with just 3,000 officers currently in the field despite a City analysis recommending a force of 4,000. The result has been a dampening effect on policing efforts and spikes in criminality in certain areas of the city.

For instance, Downtown Dallas recorded 61 times more motor vehicle thefts and 17 times more assaults than Fort Worth’s downtown area in February, according to a comparative study by the Metroplex Civic & Business Association. Fort Worth patrols its city center with a specialized neighborhood police unit and private security guards.

DPD will operate on a budget of just $654 million this fiscal year after the Dallas City Council opted to spend considerably less on policing than its counterparts in other high-crime jurisdictions, including New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

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