MESQUITE, Texas — An officer has died after being shot while responding to a disturbance near a Mesquite grocery store Friday afternoon, officials say. A suspect who was also shot remains in critical condition.
Officials said around 1:40 p.m., Mesquite police responded to a disturbance call near an Albertson's store at 1500 South Beltline Road, near East Cartwright Road, about one mile east of Interstate 635.
Officials said during the course of the investigation, an officer was struck two times by gunfire and the suspect was struck once.
Mesquite police said the officer and suspect were transported to a local hospital in critical condition.
Friday evening, Mesquite police confirmed the officer, Richard Houston, a 21-year veteran with the department, passed away from his injuries.
"This was a senseless act of violence that ripped a loving father and husband from his family," Mesquite Police Chief David Gill said during an update Friday evening.
Many police officers could be seen throughout the late afternoon and early evening hours at the hospital as they consoled one another.
"We know that there's always a possibility where one of us will have to lay down our lives," Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, who was among those at the hospital, told WFAA. "This officer's a hero. He did exactly that."
A procession was held Friday evening as the body of the officer was transported from the hospital to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office.
Witnesses told WFAA they heard around four to six gunshots, and they are shocked because it's normally a safe area.
“It’s very close to home. I live on the other side of this Albertson’s. It’s scary. Whether it’s a victim or it’s a police officer, nobody deserves to be hurt like that,” one woman at the scene said.
Officers had taped up a large area of the parking lot outside of the store, and several police vehicles were still at the scene.
Further details on the suspect and the events that led up to the shooting were not immediately released.