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Video: Suspect fights and pulls gun on Dallas officers during arrest struggle

Bodycam video shows burglary suspect fighting with two officers before pulling out a handgun

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By Nicole Lopez
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

DALLAS — The Dallas Police Department released body-camera footage Wednesday of a shooting that left a suspect in critical but stable condition Sunday night.

At about 7 p.m. Sunday, Senior Cpl. Matthew McLain and Officer Kimberley Esquivel were patrolling the 1900 block of Bennett Avenue when they found Hernanl Gutierrez, 35, in the back parking lot of an apartment building, police said at a news conference Wednesday. Gutierrez was “known to them with prior criminal mischief and burglary of motor vehicle offenses,” police said.

The bodycam video released by police shows McLain entering an apartment complex and walking out to the back of the building at 7:04 p.m.

McLain is heard in the video asking if Gutierrez was breaking into a vehicle and ordering him to put his hands up.

McLain called for backup, according to Chief of Police Eddie Garcia.

Police said that Gutierrez was uncooperative, and the video shows a struggle ensued. He was ordered to get on the ground, and McLain used his Taser, but it was not effective, according to police.

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The footage shows Gutierrez continuing to fight with officers at 7:05 p.m. and pulling a handgun from his jacket pocket. Gutierrez fired one round at the officers.

Esquivel fired her department-issued handgun one time, shooting Gutierrez in the torso, after Gutierrez shot at at officers, police said.

Gutierrez fell on top of his weapon, and he was arrested by McLain and Esquivel.

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Esquivel is heard repeatedly saying, “I’m sorry,”while arresting Gutierrez. Another unidentified officer is seen in the video assisting Esquivel and McLain with arresting Gutierrez.

Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to the scene and took Gutierrez to a hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

Gutierrez’s weapon was recovered at the scene with 15 rounds remaining in the pistol, police said.

He is being charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and more charges are possible, police announced.

No officers or anyone else at the scene were injured.

“This is never our intended outcome and I’m grateful that none of our officers or any other civilians were injured,” Garcia said.

The preliminary investigation revealed Gutierrez had a key for a stolen vehicle located in the parking lot where the shooting occurred, police said.

Police seized a backpack from Gutierrez that contained “large amounts” of power cocaine, black tar heroin, methamphetamine, pills, and a large amount of cash, according to Garcia.

The Dallas Police Special Investigations Unit is investigating the shooting. The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an independent investigation.

Gutierrez was on federal probation on charges of felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance, police said. Police believe Gutierrez cut off his ankle monitor in August.

“Ankle monitors do not work for these individuals,” Garcia said. “Not only did my officers almost lose their lives, but God knows how many other lives he’s affected since the time he’s been out.”

Gutierrez also had an active warrant on a weapons charge. He has a criminal history of DWI, drug charges and two kidnapping convictions, police said.

“As I said before about the police department, we do all we can to prepare as we can for possible scenarios and calls to prepare our officers but also for the safety of the people we protect,” Garcia said. “Of course, each response is different. Each call is different. Each arrest is different and in this case, when things unfold rapidly, our decisions must match the speed of that threat.”

“The decision Officer Esquivel made in the face of evil saved lives on Sunday,” Garcia said. “She saved the life of her partner, her own, and protected those we swore to serve.”

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