Whatever Happened To… FW Cop Shot - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Whatever Happened To… FW Cop Shot

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Nearly three years ago a man with a long criminal history shot a Fort Worth officer. FOX 4's Heather Hays has an update on the case in this "Whatever Happened To…"

Veteran Fort Worth police officer Cliff Hankins was shot in July of 2011 and he remembers exactly what he saw.

"There's a big ole gun pointed at me," he said.

He was outside a restaurant responding to a complaint of a suspicious person walking with a hoodie on in 100 degree heat.

"I asked him to pull his hands out of his pockets and stop and let me talk to him," Officer Hankins said. "He looked at me and kept walking."

The officer was about 10 feet from 26-year-old Joe Haywood when Haywood shot him.

Haywood pleaded guilty to aggravated assault against a public servant in July of 2012. A jury took just 30 minutes to sentence him to life in prison.

"I'm shocked. I didn't think he was gonna get that much time, to be honest with you. But I was glad," Officer Hankins said.

The suspect never took the stand, but defense attorneys told jurors crack use and abusive parents led to his bad decisions.

But prosecutors reminded jurors about Haywood's lengthy criminal history, which started when he was 14 when he ended up in the Texas Youth Commission.

"You can't blame sorry parents for your criminal conduct. That's not acceptable," Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon said after the trial.

Haywood will be eligible for parole in 27 years.

As for Officer Hankins, he had to go through surgery, but was able to get back to work.

"I'm not mad at him. He did a bonehead thing. Who am I to judge him? He's got God to judge him," he said.

Do you have a story or person you've been wondering about? Email Heather Hays at whatever@kdfwfox4.com, call her at 214-720-3195 or post a message on her Facebook page.

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