Oak Cliff armed robbery suspect shot by officer tried to retrieve abandoned gun, Dallas police say

Oak Cliff armed robbery suspect shot by officer tried to retrieve abandoned gun, Dallas police say

An on-duty Dallas police officer in plainclothes fired his handgun “approximately” four times early Thursday morning at a gunman allegedly involved in a robbery at an illegal gambling den in Oak Cliff and who reached for a gun during a struggle, police said.

A surveillance camera installed at a nearby business captured the brief scuffle between Corporal Ruben Martinez and Timothy James Jefferson, 34, who later died of his injuries. Twenty minutes of 911 audio, body camera footage and surveillance footage were released by police at a news conference Monday.

Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the deaths on the morning of July 4 were a tragedy for the family and friends of Martinez and Jefferson.

Three other people were arrested in the incident.

(Police-edited images may be watched on YouTube. Viewer discretion recommended.)

Dallas police officer fatally shoots robbery suspect east of Oak Cliff, police say

Police received a 911 call around 1 a.m. from a person describing a robbery in progress at an illegally operated game room in the 2900 block of South Lancaster Road. An audio recording of the call, played during the news conference, captured several people yelling. The caller was muted as he spoke.

“We’re being robbed,” the caller told the dispatcher, according to the recording.

The video then shows surveillance footage captured by a camera installed at a nearby business, showing people, including Jefferson, armed with what appear to be handguns as they herd others into a building. One armed man, who police have not identified, can be seen striking another man with a pistol, according to the video.

Responding to the robbery call, Martinez arrives in an unmarked Dodge sedan and parks near the neighboring business with surveillance cameras. Shortly after, a man identified as Jefferson is seen climbing a fence into the business’s parking lot and sprinting around the corner toward Martinez, the video shows.

Jefferson appears to point his hand or raise an object — which police said was a handgun — toward Martinez, who gets out of the sedan as Jefferson runs toward him.

Jefferson raises his arms toward the officer and drops an object, the video shows. The two men struggle briefly before several shots ring out and Jefferson collapses. Police say Jefferson reached for the handgun, prompting Martinez to shoot him.

Garcia said the encounter was so short that Martinez, who was asking Jefferson to get on the ground, did not have time to put on a bulletproof vest equipped with a body camera before the shooting.

Dallas released the video four days after Jefferson’s death. The department’s general order is that the video be released within 72 hours of the incident. García has the discretion to withhold release of any video related to a critical incident involving police.

Footage captured by responding officers on body cameras shows police combing the area after the shooting and administering aid to Jefferson, who is blurred in the video and appears unresponsive.

Two people — Kyvarian Banks, 21, and Dominique Lee Bolin, 20 — are charged in connection with the alleged robbery of the arcade, which Garcia said has since been closed.

Banks and Lee Bolin were taken into custody Monday in Dallas County on three counts of aggravated robbery. Banks faces two additional counts of probation violation stemming from a previous aggravated robbery and an escape from custody, records show.

Banks and Lee Bolin were remanded in custody on bail totaling $650,000 and $45,000, respectively, according to the documents. It was not immediately clear whether they had attorneys.

Police seized cash from Banks and recovered a bag of cash he had dropped while fleeing officers, as well as a handgun, Garcia said. Officers found Lee Bolin in the parking lot of the card room before taking him into custody and seizing a handgun, the chief said.

A fourth person fled the scene and eluded police Thursday morning. Investigators are working to identify him, Garcia said.

Martinez, who has been with the Dallas police since 2012, was placed on leave after the incident, as is typical after officer-involved shootings. Police spokeswoman Kristin Lowman said Monday that Martinez has since returned to duty.

The operator of the gambling hall, identified by police as Mohammad Ghali, 38, is charged with operating a gambling place, Garcia said.

Dallas police have shot and killed at least two people so far this year, the first on June 30, four days before the Independence Day shootings.

In that incident, two officers shot Cody Watkins, 34, who was accused of domestic violence and came toward them with a knife in a wooded area of ​​Far North Dallas, police said. Watkins was struck and taken to a hospital, where he died.