The Dallas County district attorney
is seeking the death penalty for the man accused of killing a Dallas
police officer and wounding his partner and a loss prevention officer at a
Home Depot store last month.
Juarez, 30, was indicted on five felony charges in the April 24 shooting: one
count of capital murder, one count of attempted capital murder, one count of
aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated assault
with a deadly weapon on a public servant.
District Attorney Faith Johnson said
Tuesday she "carefully considered" the evidence in the case before
deciding her office will seek capital punishment.
She said they looked at "not
only the offense itself."
"We considered the
circumstances. We considered everything that took place leading up" to the
shooting, Johnson said.
Juarez's criminal record doesn't show
any violent offenses before April 24, when police say he pulled a gun on the
two officers and a loss-prevention officer. He also fired at two other officers
during the five-hour manhunt after the Home Depot shooting, authorities
Officers Rogelio Santander and
Crystal Almeida responded to a shoplifting call at the Home Depot near U.S.
Highway 75 and Forest Lane. The loss-prevention officer, Scott
Painter, saw Juarez behaving suspiciously and possibly trying to steal
A Dallas officer working an off-duty
job at the store detained Juarez for an outstanding warrant. While the
off-duty officer was double-checking the warrant, Juarez pulled a gun and shot
Santander, Almeida and Painter, police records show.
was shot in the face, and Painter was shot three times. Juarez fled but was
later spotted in southeast Dallas.
When two officers in a police cruiser
started following Juarez's vehicle on the highway, he fired a handgun several
times at them, they said.
The car chase ended in a neighborhood
near Love Field.
Juarez threw his handgun out of his
vehicle, and officers found a box of ammunition and several shell casings
inside the car, police records show.
Dallas Police Association President
Michael Mata said Tuesday that the shooting "just reinforces the dangers
of the job."
"We need to consider every call
no matter how routine it is, no matter how commonplace it is that it can go
bad," he said.
Mata said he was happy to hear Juarez
was indicted and that the DA is seeking the death penalty.
"It is obviously a premeditated
crime that he committed. And he should be met by the fullest extent of the law,
and in Texas, that includes the death penalty," he said.
The police group is also asking the
Dallas Police Department to consider broadening the policy on when
officers can handcuff someone.
Juarez was with the two officers and
the loss prevention officer in a Home Depot office when he "removed his
hands from his pockets, drew a handgun and shot both officers," police
Mata said he hopes the Police
Department allows officers to have "the ability that when investigating any
possible criminal activity that we handcuff for citizens' or officers'
Though Juarez had no violent criminal
history, he had been arrested twice in the five months before the fatal
shooting: once in December on a felony theft charge and again in January
on an unlawful use of a motor vehicle charge.
He has also
pleaded guilty in the past to attempted possession of a controlled
After Juarez was arrested, police
added two felony charges of forgery of a financial instrument stemming from a
December incident. He was also indicted on those charges Tuesday.
The day after the shooting,
investigators connected Juarez to forged checks he cashed in December, police
Juarez cashed an $845.50 check that
was made out to him. The check was from a stolen checkbook and was signed with
"an illegible ink signature," according to an arrest warrant
He also cashed a second check that
day for $830.50, police records show.