A Hewitt police officer was injured Tuesday morning when a suspected bank robber stopped in traffic and fired a shotgun at him during a crosstown chase, authorities said.
Dallas Scott Bohanan, 25, of Waco, hit Officer Clint Brandon’s arm with shotgun pellets three blocks away from the bank Bohanan had robbed at 420 Hewitt Drive, police said.
Bohanan then led multiple police agencies on a 6-mile chase before he crashed into a fence line near the intersection of Wingate Drive and Garden Drive in South Waco. He was taken into custody in the neighborhood near Robinson, Hewitt Assistant Police Chief Tuck Saunders said.
Brandon has been with the Hewitt Police Department two years, Police Chief Jim Devlin said. He was in stable condition and was released from the hospital Tuesday.
The incident started at 9:06 a.m., when an armed man robbed the PointWest Bank and led police officers on a chase carrying an unknown amount of cash, police said. Brandon, who was in the area, responded and confronted Bohanan as he exited the bank into the parking lot, according to police.
“The officer ordered the suspect to show him his hands, and the suspect brought up a firearm, a long gun firearm, and began firing rounds at our officer,” Devlin said. “The officer took cover, returned fire, and the suspect got back in his vehicle and the officer began a pursuit.”
At 100 Hewitt Drive, Bohanan stopped his car and stepped into the roadway and again exchanged gunfire with Brandon, Devlin said.
“The suspect began shooting a shotgun into the front of our patrol car with the officer inside,” the police chief said. “He got back into the suspect vehicle and continued.”
The shotgun blast pierced but did not shatter the windshield. With a wounded arm, Brandon continued the pursuit.
“The officer was a warrior,” Devlin said. “He continued the pursuit, even after exchanging what we believe to be gunfire in the parking lot of the bank, then being shot at in the middle of a roadway on Hewitt Drive, he continued pursuing the whole entire time. He wanted to get the bad guy.”
Devlin said a supervisor called the injured officer off the chase when fellow officers from Hewitt and other local agencies joined in pursuit. A detective pulled over and took Brandon to a local hospital for treatment.
“I am very proud of all the officers, very proud of all of them,” Devlin said.
Police said Bohanan drove to a Waco neighborhood and crashed his pickup truck near Garden Drive and Wingate drives. He ran into a yard in the 3300 block of Clover Leaf Drive, where neighbors called police to report his whereabouts, police said.
In a yard about a block from the crash site, officers found a backpack, gloves and a shotgun, Waco police Sgt. Stephen Drews said. The man had blood on his face, but it was unclear how he was injured.
Drews said the man lives in the neighborhood near where he was arrested, and officials think he may have been headed home when he crashed his truck.
Bohanan was taken to Waco Police Department for interviews before being booked into McLennan County Jail. Devlin said he is charged with first-degree felony aggravated assault of a public servant with a deadly weapon and state jail felony evading.
Devlin said additional charges are likely forthcoming.
“Based on the actions today, this is a very violent offender who had no care in the world as to taking out a law enforcement officer, which is very concerning,” Devlin said. “If he is willing to do that to a law enforcement officer, he is willing to do that to anyone else, but I am making that my opinion.”
Waco and Midway school districts briefly placed several campuses in the area on lockout status, meaning outside access to the schools was blocked but classes continued inside, both districts said.
Midway’s high school and middle school were placed on lockout, as well as Hewitt, Castleman Creek and Spring Valley elementary schools. Waco ISD schools Alta Vista Elementary and University High also were placed on lockout.
The Texas Rangers will begin an investigation into the officer-involved shooting, per the Hewitt Police Department’s policy. Devlin said this is the first officer-involved shooting involving the department.
The FBI will be involved in the bank robbery investigation. Waco police said the man also hit a second vehicle while he evaded officers, so other charges may be forthcoming.
Devlin said he appreciates the assistance from multiple agencies and credited the swift response from other jurisdictions.
“People are pretty shook up over this deal, and this is not something that happens in Hewitt,” Devlin said. “With that being said, when you come to this community to do something like this, as we’ve seen in the past, we will arrest you. We will catch you and we are going to put you in jail.”