WFPD: Call 911 instead of getting involved

WFPD: Call 911 instead of getting involved

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Wichita Falls Police are warning people not to take matters into their own hands after an attempt to stop a suspected car burglary ends with shots fired.

Last week, we told you about the incident on Sierra Madre Drive where a witness said he saw two juveniles he believed were trying to steal rims from his neighbor's truck.

He said after telling them he would call the cops, he was shot at.

A 14-year-old has been arrested, but police are still searching for that second suspect.

WFPD Officer Jeff Hughes said if you see a crime like this happening, it is better to be a good witness than to get involved because property can be replaced, but a life cannot.

Grady Walker, who has lived on that street for more than 40 years, agrees and is glad none of his neighbors were hurt.

"My wife and I were lying in bed, and I heard something go pow, pow, pow, and I said to myself 'that didn't sound like firecrackers,'" said Walker.

He said nothing like this has happened there before.

"A police chase a time or two, but never gunfire," he said.

Officers Hughes said those shots could have ended up anywhere.

"It could have hit somebody, could have hit an innocent bystander," said Officer Hughes.

One went through a nearby house.

"My neighbor next door had a hole in his window and where the bullet lodged into the wall," said Walker.

He said the whole thing took him by surprise.

"I mean you get scared, but then you go into a defensive mode, and that's what I did," Walker said.

He was a probation officer for two decades and knows why it is important not to get involved.

"I understand the person who wants to jump out and go protect especially your neighborhood, but you should call the police before you do anything like that," said Walker.

Officer Hughes said to call 911 and be as safe as possible.

"You never know what someone else is capable of or willing to do to not get caught," he said. "Don't confront the suspects.  Be a good witness."

Because the more information a witness is able to give officers the better.

When it comes to recording video and taking pictures when someone sees a crime.

He said if you can do so safely, and it does not put you in harm's way, then do it, but if it puts you in jeopardy in any way, then it's not worth it.

Officer Hughes said in the last two weeks, there have been about eight vehicle burglary reports, and in one case, a firearm was stolen.

He said a majority of the vehicles broken into were not locked or did not show any signs of forced entry, so always lock your doors and take out your belongings, especially guns.

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