An off-duty Fannin County deputy exchanged gunfire with a suspect after a woman was shot outside a Dallas Walmart Sunday evening.
“I think our officer acted pretty heroically — charging forward to the woman firing at him,” Fannin County Sheriff Donnie Foster said. “He was able to detain her until the police got there without anybody else getting hurt.”
At about 5:30 p.m., Dallas Police responded to a call of a shooting in the parking lot of a Walmart at 7401 Samuel Boulevard. According to a Dallas Police news release, police found a woman with a gunshot wound to her neck, and she was transported to a local hospital. After an investigation, police discovered that the victim, who was identified as 55-year-old Carla Hawkins, was at the Walmart to transfer custody of a child.
Hawkins met up with 53-year-old Janice Brown — both women are grandmothers to the child, police said in the release. During the transfer process, police said an argument occurred that caused a physical altercation. Brown then allegedly brandished a handgun and shot Hawkins. Police noted that Hawkins' injuries were not life threatening.
The off-duty Fannin County deputy working at the Walmart heard the gunshots and responded.
“Texas peace officers have a duty to act anytime there's a felony committed in their presence,” Foster said. “He was inside, but he heard the shots outside. He took charge of the situation. He was acting within the scope of a peace officer in that point in time.”
Dallas Police said in the release the deputy saw the suspect with the handgun as she ran across the parking lot. The suspect then fired the gun at the deputy, and the deputy returned fire. No one was hit by the gunfire, and Brown was taken into custody. Foster said his deputy was not injured in the incident.
Brown was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Court records show that bond was set at $50,000 for the first charge. Police said because of the altercation before the shooting, the case will be referred to the Dallas County Grand Jury.