Officer kills driver during struggle in South Oak Cliff


by BY BLANCA CANT / The Dallas Morning News

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 11:49 AM

A Dallas officer fatally shot a man who hit him three times in the head during a struggle Tuesday evening, police said.

The shooting happened about 11:40 p.m. in South Oak Cliff, Dallas police said.

Officer Rene Villanueva told investigators that earlier in the evening he saw a blue Mercedes rear-end another vehicle and flee from the 4500 block of South Lancaster Road.

The Mercedes drove for three blocks before two men jumped out of the car while it was still moving, police said. The car then jumped a curb and stopped.

Officer Villanueva, who followed the Mercedes, got out of his car, and the Mercedes driver did the same. The officer then attempted to arrest the 31-year-old driver and asked him to show his hands. When the officer approached the man, a struggle began. The officer was hit three times in the head by the driver who was 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighed 240 pounds, police said.

Officer Villanueva feared he might become unconscious from the blows and also feared for his life, police said. He shot the suspect once in the upper body.

The man was taken to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas where he was pronounced dead.

Officer Villanueva, who has been with the department for about a year and a half, was expected to return to work soon, police said.

The two men who bailed out of the Mercedes were not charged with any crime. They told police they jumped out because the car was moving so erratically.

The 53-year-old man in the car that was rear-ended did not complain of injuries, police said. It was unclear whether he was taken to a hospital.