Un­der­cover of­fi­cer dies af­ter rob­bery shoot­ing

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - NATION - By David War­ren David War­ren is an As­so­ci­ated Press writer.

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.

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