Undercover officer dies after robbery shooting
DALLAS — An undercover officer who was shot during a gunbattle between police and a group of robbery suspects outside of a Fort Worth bar has died, authorities said Saturday.
The officer, Garrett Hull, 40, died at a hospital, said Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald. A suspect who was killed in shooting, Dacion Steptoe, was the person who shot Hull after Steptoe and two accomplices left a bar they had just robbed, the chief said.
The two other suspects were arrested, and none of the 10 people who were in the bar was hurt.
“We’ve lost a true hero,” Fitzgerald said. “Someone that dedicated more than one tour of service to this great city was senselessly killed by three known criminals, two of which are in custody now.”
Fort Worth police say that because Officer Garrett Hull died overnight, authorities expect to upgrade the charges faced by the two suspects — Timothy Huff and Samuel Mayfield — to capital murder.
During a previous conference, Fitzgerald said Hull was part of a team of undercover and uniformed officers that was trailing the suspects and rushed into the bar when officers discovered it was being robbed. He later clarified that the officers, wary of endangering bystanders, waited for the three suspects outside the bar before they confronted them.
Fellow officers rushed Hull to the hospital in a squad car instead of waiting for an ambulance.
“The sacrifices our officers make go unnoticed, unfortunately, until we have a tragedy such as this,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said.
Fitzgerald said the crew is suspected in 17 robberies in and around Fort Worth in recent months, and that they primarily targeted bars popular with Latinos. He said the crew shot someone in the head during a recent robbery and at least one other person had been shot as well. Investigators believe the men focused on the bars under the belief that Latino victims would be less likely to report a robbery to authorities, according to a police spokesman, Officer Brad Perez.
Fitzgerald said Hull, who is survived by a wife and two daughters, was well liked in the department and was a “rock” of the police intelligence unit.