HIGHLAND PARK (CBSDFW.COM) - Two Highland Park police officers are on leave after shooting and killing a motorcyclist near the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas.
Investigators say the gunfire was in response to the suspect shooting at officers, nears the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Airline Road. The incident happened just after 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.
Witnesses in the area said they thought police were working an automobile accident when they suddenly heard gunshots. Some of the innocent bystanders were caught in the crossfire.
It was back to business for many at the shopping center near SMU, where the shooting occurred. But the situation was very different for several hours on Tuesday night, when everything seemed to come to a standstill.
"I froze. I didn't have a reaction," witness Gerry Hudnall recalled.
A woman who said a man, riding a green motorcycle, was following her initially called Highland Park police. Officers spotted the motorcycle in a parking lot and questioned the male rider. At some point, officer say the suspect took off and there was a short chase.
Officers eventually caught the suspect and put him in the back of a squad car.
Gerry's husband, David Hudnall said it was them that, "I heard this one pop, [it] sounded like a bulb breaking and then a real loud… where all the glass fell on the passenger side. The driver side of the car just came out, just blew the whole window out."
It was later that the Hudnall's, who are relatives of a CBS employee, learned they had heard gunshots.
Investigators later said the suspect had managed to get out of his handcuffs and shoot out the window, using a gun he was carrying. Police have not addressed how the suspect escaped the handcuffs or why he was still in possession of a gun after he was placed in the squad car.
David Hudnall remembered what happened next. "This man came head first leaping out of the back seat, hit the pavement with both hands out, jumped up and started to take off running towards our car."
It was then the Hudnall's said police started shooting. The couple said the suspect was shot as he ran away.
Resident Rob Ackley was near the scene after the shooting. "They were doing CPR on the guy right in the middle of the street," he said.
The suspect, has been identified as David Edwin Hartman, 32, from Pottsboro, Texas. He was rushed to Parkland Hospital where he died.
Investigators said Hartman had a warrant out for his arrest, a history of running away from police and the motorcycle he was riding was stolen.
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