Highland Park sends letter about fatal shooting to residents - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Highland Park sends letter about fatal shooting to residents

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Highland Park police say in a letter to the town's residents they were "forced" to shoot a man who escaped from their custody at a busy intersection.

David Hartman, 32, was shot twice in the back and once in the leg on Tuesday in an incident on Mockingbird and Airline, near the SMU campus, that killed the man.

In a letter drafted by a PR firm hired by the department and signed by the city's mayor and police chief, citizens are told police were forced to shoot a "career criminal and wanted felon who escaped from their patrol vehicle."

The letter says Hartman was shot and killed "when he escaped from the patrol vehicle and pointed a gun at one of our officers."

But the letter does not detail how Hartman escaped custody or how he had a firearm on him.

The letter is blunt about the threat the department felt Hartman posed.

"There is absolutely no doubt in our mind that this individual was in our community to commit a violent crime, and that he would have done so had he not been apprehended," the letter states.

The Dallas County Sheriff's Office will conduct an independent investigation, according to police, and presented for review to a Dallas County Grand Jury.

Because of this, the department says, it will not release any dashcam video or other evident until after the Grand Jury hears the information.

The mayor wouldn't talk on camera but told FOX4's Fil Alvarado on the phone he agreed to the letter because there were people in the town who had a lot of concerns about the shooting.

We showed the letter to former police officer and Dallas attorney Pete Schulte, who is not connected to the case.

While he doesn't criticize the police, he wonders why Highland Park felt it had to put out this letter.

"We know this individual had a gun, had at least fired one shot off and got out of the vehicle so we know there could have been potential danger to the officers. But there's an argument to be made why is this coming out in so much detail and why now," said Pete Schulte. "If they had come out and said we're gonna wait for the investigation to be complete, have it go to the grand jury, make a determination by the grand jury, then we release more information is what we all expect."

To read the city's letter in full, head to the Highland Park city website.

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