Police Search for Man Who Allegedly Shot at Door-to-Door Salesman

Tablet that sustained gunshot damage | Image by NBC DFW

A door-to-door salesman was saved by his tablet after a homeowner allegedly tried to shoot him in the stomach Thursday morning.

Fort Worth police are looking for a man who pulled a gun on a Reliant salesman making his rounds in an East Fort Worth neighborhood on Thursday.

The unnamed suspect, who lives in the 3100 block of Purington Avenue, allegedly shot at the salesman after he knocked on the door to inquire about the homeowner’s energy bills. The salesman’s work tablet stopped the bullet from entering his stomach.

“He just came out and just straight pointed the barrel at me and then shot me and told me to get away from here n****,” the salesman said, according to NBC 5 DFW.

“This is the one thing I always fear — getting shot at the door, and today it happened,” said the salesman, adding that he would have left his two daughters fatherless had he been killed.

Reliant said in a statement that it was relieved the salesman was not hurt and is currently collaborating with Fort Worth police.

“We’re in the process of learning more, but thankfully the sales agent was not harmed. The safety and security of sales agents is our top priority, and we are working with local law enforcement on next steps,” remarked the electricity company, per NBC 5.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the homeowner, who could face charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with a hate crime enhancement. As Fort Worth police officer Buddy Calzada explained, “[We’re] looking at several different charges because you just cannot fire a weapon at a human for absolutely no reason, no threat involved.”

When officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant, the homeowner was reportedly not at his residence.

In nearby Dallas, hate crimes dropped by 7.1% between 2022 and 2023, with just 39 logged, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard. As of February 8, only two such offenses have been recorded. Meanwhile, there have been numerous assaults committed citywide: 25,978 in 2023 and 2,407 so far in 2024.

The Dallas Police Department has been grappling with a longstanding police shortage. As a previous analysis from the City advised, Dallas needs a force of approximately 4,000 officers to adequately maintain public safety based on population size. However, DPD currently has only around 3,000 in its ranks.

City leaders budgeted DPD just $654 million this fiscal year, which is far less than the spending levels seen in other high-crime municipalities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Meanwhile, Downtown Dallas continues to put up considerably more reports of criminal activity than Fort Worth’s downtown area, which is patrolled by a designated neighborhood police unit working alongside private security guards.

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