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Suspect Killed in Shootout on Freeway

Crime

Lights on a police car. | Photo by Yevhen Prozhyrko, Shutterstock

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A suspected intoxicated driver who shot at police on the interstate and led them on a chase into Dallas was killed by officers who returned fire, according to Bedford police.

It all began when Bedford police officers attempted to stop a suspected drunk driver speeding on Highway 183 around 1:30 a.m. on July 23.

Rather than stop, the driver allegedly started shooting a firearm at officers from their car, according to police. A pursuit ensued that carried on into Dallas, where the motorist eventually stopped at the 2200 block of North Stemmons Freeway.

Dallas County Sheriff’s Office deputies happened to be nearby and arrived at the scene after hearing gunshots. Deputies engaged the motorist alongside Bedford police.

“When the driver finally stopped, he exited his vehicle and began firing at officers [and deputies], striking police vehicles, other vehicles in the area, and an innocent bystander nearby with complete disregard for anyone in the area,” read a written statement issued by the Bedford Police Department, per NBC 5. 

The innocent bystander sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder and was taken to Parkland Hospital in critical condition. Gunfire also hit other nearby cars, including a deputy’s windshield. No deputies or officers were injured.

A Bedford officer shot back at the armed motorist, hitting the suspect, who was subsequently declared dead at the scene. He was identified as 33-year-old Juan Mario Gonzalez.

A passenger in the car, believed to have also fired on police, exited the vehicle at the scene and surrendered to law enforcement. He was identified as Richard Nicholas Flores, also 33 years old, and charged by police with aggravated assault on a public servant, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The shooting caused the freeway to be closed for several hours. Officers instructed drivers to turn around to get to safety, according to Cathleen Parker, who was staying at a nearby hotel that night.

“They acted very quick. They shut everything down,” Parker said to Fox 4 News. “As it was happening and I was hearing gunfire, people are trying to get by, probably scared. And they are trying to go in the furthest lane because it’s happening near the concrete wall, near the feeder. They are scared, trying to get past it and they don’t know what to do.”

The incident is still being investigated by Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Officer.

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