Fifth-grader recounts shooting by Dallas officer

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on October 31, 2010 at 9:44 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 1 at 11:42 PM

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DALLAS — An eleven-year-old boy was caught in the crossfire late Friday night — shot as police tried to bring down an unarmed suspect.

Tobias Arthur Mackey was killed by a three-year veteran of the force.

Xavion Collins is now nursing a gunshot wound. "It hurts," he said. "It hurts real, real bad."

A bullet tore through the fifth-grader's arm while he walked through his apartment complex in the 3800 block of Bonnie View Road late Friday night. His mother, Jacqueline Collins, heard the gunshots.

"Before I could even get to the door, he was back inside with blood everywhere," Collins said. "I just started screaming and hollering, like, 'Who shot my son? Who shot him?!'"

She never imagined that the bullet came from Dallas police officer.

On Friday evening, officers swarmed the Cedar Garden apartments in South Dallas and quickly focused on Tobias Mackey, who was walking in a breezeway.

Police said the 25-year-old had his hands in his pants and ignored officers' orders, prompting Officer Matthew Tate to open fire.

"They jumped out and ran to the corner and said, 'Hey!' Pow, pow, pow... just start shooting," said Eric Mackey, who had just dropped off his son at the complex. He and other witnesses said the officer opened fire within seconds.

"He just started shooting; didn't tell nobody to freeze or nothing," Mackey said.

Police later admitted that Mackey was not carrying a weapon.

One of Officer Tate's stray bullets hit Xavion. "All I seen was blood gushing out of my arm," he said. "Then there was blood on the wall and floors and stuff."

The shooting outraged many at the Cedar Garden complex in what police call a high-crime area.

"They are supposed to be here to protect and serve, not to harm the children," Jacqueline Collins said.

Police noted that Mackey had a criminal record, and had previously been given a trespassing warning, barring him from the complex.

Officer Tate remains on administrative leave as detectives investigate whether he was justified in shooting an unarmed man and child.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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