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2 people found dead in Dallas home; 2 responding officers wounded

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 2/19/2021 Nataly Keomoungkhoun and Valeria Olivares, The Dallas Morning News
a large passenger jet sitting on top of a truck: Two people were found dead inside a home in Dallas on Feb. 18, 2021. © Irwin Thompson/The Dallas Morning News/The Dallas Morning News/TNS Two people were found dead inside a home in Dallas on Feb. 18, 2021.

DALLAS — Two people were found dead inside an Old East Dallas home Thursday after two police officers who had been called to the scene were shot, police say.

A man immediately fired on the officers when they arrived about 11 a.m. local time at the home on Bonita Avenue, near North Henderson Avenue and Central Expressway, police said. They were taken to Baylor University Medical Center in stable condition.

SWAT officers entered the home about 1:30 p.m. and found a man and woman dead with apparent gunshot wounds. Police did not release their names or any other identifying details. The names of the injured officers also were not released.

Police said they believe the man was responsible for wounding the officers, who fired no shots during the confrontation.

Police hadn’t said what led to the shootings.

Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said the two officers were shot in their lower legs. He could not provide more details about what happened.

Police Chief Eddie Garcia praised Dallas Fire-Rescue personnel for helping the officers.

“I would be remiss if I did not point out the amazing work of our Fire Department who actually provided cover for our police officers to extract our wounded officers out of the scene,” he said at a news conference outside Baylor University Medical Center. “I can’t thank them enough for that.”

Video from a Ring doorbell camera that was posted publicly on NextDoor showed a wounded Dallas officer standing, with the help of two fellow officers, on the front porch of a home.

The two assisting officers looked for a way to get to safety while the wounded officer, whose left pant leg had been slit to above his knee, stood groaning between them. One of the officers provided cover for the others as they left the porch with an officer in a Dallas Fire-Rescue vest.

In another video, the trio of officers could be seen getting into an ambulance.

Patricia Gottschalk, who lives less than a half-mile from Bonita Avenue, said the first thing she did after learning what happened was prepare in case the shooter approached her house.

She said police told residents to stay locked in their houses.

Gottschalk said she still feels safe in the neighborhood, where people know and watch out for one another.

“It’s a fairly quiet residential neighborhood and very up and coming,” she said. “There’s a lot of new construction, a lot of renovation being done here. Good neighborhood.”

Danny Campbell, 59, said he got home about the time police began arriving and an officer immediately told him to go inside.

In a matter of minutes, he saw a half dozen police vehicles and the SWAT team arrive a few houses from where he lives.

“I was kind of scared, actually, because I’ve lived here 21 years and it’s a safe area, it’s very safe,” Campbell said. “I have no issues and it’s kind of alarming.”

He said that about an hour before police began clearing the area, he’d heard what he now thinks was a gunshot.

“I thought it was ice falling off my roof, but I said, ‘That didn’t sound like ice,’” Campbell said.

News that the officers had been shot came as the Police Department was preparing for a vigil Friday evening to honor Officer Mitchell Penton, 27, who died early Saturday in the line of duty. A driver suspected of driving while intoxicated crashed into his squad car and knocked it into him while he was directing traffic at an accident scene early Saturday on Central Expressway near Walnut Hill Lane.

Thursday’s shooting incident occurred near where Dallas police Officer Brian Jackson was killed in 2005 while responding to a domestic violence call on North Henderson near Madera Street.

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(Dallas Morning News staff writer Brooklynn Cooper contributed to this report.)

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