SAGINAW, Texas – A police officer was shot Tuesday when gunfire erupted as law enforcement tried to serve arrest and search warrants on a suspect in the killing of a 6-year-old girl whose naked, bound body was found wrapped in a tarp on a residential North Texas street, authorities said.
The officer was one of at least five who went to the home in Saginaw, just outside Fort Worth, to serve the warrants, said Damon Ing, a Saginaw police detective. FBI spokeswoman Katherine Chaumont said once the officers knocked, they were confronted by an armed suspect who fired on them. One of the officers returned fire, striking the suspect, she said.
Authorities have not released the identities or conditions for the suspect or the wounded Arlington police officer. Some officers are at the hospital, said Arlington police spokesman Christopher Cook, who said the department would provide an update on his condition.
A spokesman with MedStar Emergency Medical Services in Fort Worth, which transported the two to the hospital, said one was shot in the groin and the other was shot in the head. Matt Zavadsky also had no information on their conditions or identities.
The officers, part of a major crimes task force that includes the FBI and several police departments, were investigating the death of Alanna Gallagher, whose body was found on a Saginaw street about a mile away from her home July 1 by two teenage boys.
The house where the shooting occurred is two doors down from the home where Alanna lived with her family. Authorities have offered a $10,000 reward for information about her death.
Nearby streets were blocked Tuesday by yellow police tape and patrol vehicles. The tape was extended to light poles where purple ribbons had been tied shortly after the girl's body was found.
Purple ribbons and bows — placed in memory of the girl whose favorite color was purple — can be seen on mailboxes, trees and elsewhere in the area.
"It's been really heart-breaking for the neighborhood," resident Lisa Arnold said of the girl's death.
Other neighbors expressed concern for their children's safety in the weeks following the killing, particularly since an arrest had not been made.
Police also are trying to determine who set fire to a makeshift memorial for Alanna and torched a car owned by the girl's family that was parked in their driveway. The damage was discovered Friday.