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Dallas police release camera footage of officer fatally shooting robbery suspect

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia stands at a podium during a press conference in the police headquarters media briefing room.
KERA News
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KERA
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia stands at a podium during a press conference in the police headquarters media briefing room.

Surveillance footage of a police shooting in Dallas last week shows a plainclothes officer shooting at a man four times as he ran from the site of an alleged robbery.

Police were responding to a call about an active robbery in the 2900 block of South Lancaster Road at around 1 a.m. Thursday when the shooting occurred.

During a news conference Monday, Police Chief Eddie Garcia said surveillance footage from inside an illegal gambling room showed four men rounding up people in the parking lot at gunpoint and forcing them inside.

The video showed as officers arrived at the scene, three of the men ran out the back of the gambling room and split up to leave the area.

One man, identified as 34-year-old Timothy Jefferson, jumped a fence and encountered Senior Cpl. Ruben Martinez, who had been working undercover nearby. Surveillance footage from outside the building shows Martinez exiting his unmarked vehicle and confronting Jefferson. Police say Jefferson wore a mask and was holding a handgun.

The video shows the two briefly pointed their guns at each other before Jefferson ducked and dropped his weapon. Martinez approached Jefferson and tried to grab him with his left hand.

Jefferson made movements “as if he wanted to get away,” according to Garcia, and reached for his gun again.

Martinez then fired four shots; “most of them” hit Jefferson, Garcia said. Martinez went to his vehicle to put on his vest and activated his body worn camera, which partially captured the moments after the shooting.

Police performed CPR on Jefferson before paramedics arrived. He later died from his injuries at a nearby hospital.

This is a tragedy for the officer,” Garcia said. “It's a tragedy for the suspect's family and friends who may not have remembered the individual this way.”

Two other suspects were later arrested uninjured, and detectives are continuing to search for a fourth suspect. Dallas Police said no officers were injured.

“This type of event is never our intended outcome, as I've said many times,” Garcia said. “But ultimately, here we are again because of the dangerous actions and choices of suspects wanted in our city.”

The manager of the gambling room was also arrested and charged with keeping a gambling place, a Class A misdemeanor.

Garcia said the Dallas Police Special Investigations Unit is conducting an investigation. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office also responded to the scene and will conduct its own investigation.

Penelope Rivera is KERA’s news intern. Got a tip? Email Penelope at privera@kera.org.

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Penelope Rivera is KERA's summer 2024 Scripps Howard news intern. She graduated from the University of North Texas in May with a B.A. in Digital and Print Journalism.