EULESS, Texas – The family of the man who they say fatally shot a Texas police officer described the 22-year-old as a drug addict who was released from jail the same day the shooting occurred.
Jorge Antonio Gonzalez told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/1oPzdH1 ) on Wednesday that his son, Jorge Brian Gonzalez, was high on methamphetamine when he was jailed Monday for stealing money.
He said his son was released Tuesday and then hours later engaged in a firefight with officers at a park in the Dallas suburb of Euless. Officer David Hofer, 29, was struck before other officers shot and killed the gunman. Hofer died Tuesday during surgery.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the shooter. A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
The elder Gonzalez told the newspaper that Hofer had been called to the family's apartment before and knew his son. He was remorseful over the actions of his son but also questioned why he was released from jail if still under the influence of meth.
"It's their fault," Gonzalez said. "Why would they let him out when he was on that stuff?"
Tarrant County court records show the younger Gonzalez had a lengthy criminal record that included charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and threatening family members.
Many people remembered Hofer on Wednesday by leaving flowers, stuffed animals and other items in front of the Euless police station, with some saying a quiet prayer before leaving.
Hofer had moved from New York City to the Dallas area in 2014 because he wanted to be somewhere safer, his mother has said.
A 2008 graduate of New York University, Hofer served in the New York Police Department for five years before coming to Euless, Police Chief Mike Brown said.
The New York Post reported Hofer, the son of European immigrants, formerly worked in the 9th Precinct on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
"He was wonderful child, a wonderful police officer," his mother, Sofija Hofer, told the newspaper. "He was working this very difficult precinct, so he had a lot of traumatic experiences ... He decided to go to a safer place."
Brown said Hofer was one of the officers who responded to a report of shots fired around 3 p.m. Tuesday near J.A. Carr Park, which is in a residential area near an elementary school.
"Officers encountered a suspect with an unknown weapon," Brown said. "The suspect immediately fired upon officers, striking one of them. Officers returned fire, striking the suspect."
Two nearby schools were placed on lockdown until the situation was resolved.
Hofer's fiancée was out of town on Tuesday and needed to be called home and given the news, the Post reported.
Sofija Hofer said her son wanted to write a book about his experience with the NYPD.
"I thought he might be a scientist, like his father, but he always wanted to be a policeman, ever since he was a little boy," she said.
David Hofer is the second officer to die in the line of duty in Euless, a suburb of more than 53,000 residents west of Dallas and east of Fort Worth. The other officer was Michael Williamson, who was killed by a drunken driver in 1982, according to the city website.