Autopsy Says Suspect Killed by Police Was Shot From Behind

The man who is believed to be the first person ever killed by Highland Park police was shot in the back, according to an autopsy report released by the Dallas County medical examiner’s office.

The autopsy, which was first reported by The Dallas Morning News, also says Hartman had methamphetamine in his blood.

Hartman was shot the evening of June 4 in Park Cities Plaza, the shopping center on Mockingbird Lane near SMU. Less than two hours later, the town’s Department of Public Safety released a statement that said the two officers who had detained him returned fire after he shot at them first.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, to determine how the officers apparently missed Hartman’s gun and how he freed himself from a set of handcuffs. Because the case will go to a grand jury, Sgt. Lance Koppa, the town’s spokesman, declined to comment on the autopsy results.

Hartman’s family filed a lawsuit against the town in state district court on July 30. The case was transferred to federal court a month later because the family is claiming his constitutional rights were violated.

By Dan Koller Oct. 24, 2013 | 1:40 pm | 16 Comments | Comments RSS
  • Judge

    His constitutional right to what? Stalk? Chase? Scare? Use illegal drugs? Assault a police officer? Hey white trash Hartman family, my constitutional rights were violated when your scumbag son came into my neighborhood and attempted to commit a crime.

  • Moe Skeedo

    Oh man Im looking for the “Like” for Judge’s comments.

  • Really?

    Which part of the constitution specifies your right not to be scared? Maybe you’re the type that’s afraid of your own shadow? And what crime did the guy commit? He wasn’t cut from the neighborhood cloth and was riding a motorcycle?

    What kind of police work results in a guy in the back of a squad car getting out if his handcuffs AND having a gun? The one-sided story never made sense and the other side can’t ever be told because he was shot – in the back – at close range.

    Are you not paying attention to whats going on around you? The police have been militarized and have been conditioned to shoot first and ask questions later. EVERYONE is a threat. That’s the violation of your constitutional rights you should be worried about.

    Poke your head out of the Bubble now and then.

  • NFW

    @Really, two felony convictions and riding on a stolen motorcycle doesn’t really give you a whole lot of credibility with the popo. Let’s not forget the warrant that was initially reported–fleeing arrest in another police jurisdiction. We here in the “Bubble” like to work with the facts we DO have, and this wasn’t exactly a case of smoke without fire.

    However, how does a perp get put in the back of a police car with a gun that wasn’t found by the cops exactly? Did he pull a McGyver on the cuffs? It does sound a little incompetent on the part of HPPD.

  • HPPD Fan

    @Really?- What crime did he commit? Humm let’s see. How about stalking the woman who called it in, outstanding warrants for arrest, resisting arrest, attempting escape, firing a gun at a police officer? Oh and he was probably high as a kite to boot. Militarization of the HP Police? Sounds like you are the one that’s afraid of his shadow. Do us all a favor and keep your paranoid hippie head out of our bubble.

  • Avid Reader

    Ok, so he was shot in the back. He was escaping/resisting arrest and he pulled out a gun which I would consider a life/death threat to the police.

  • http://beecherl.dennis73@gmail.com dennis beecherl

    I think that is just horrible and what people have said in the comments is just horrible I stand up for the person they shot and killed.

  • Dr. Phil

    Once again, I have to ask, @dennis beecherl – are you really that dumb? I think you are because your comments are always utterly ridiculous.

  • Avid Reader

    @dennis beecherl, If the “suspect” had been able to successfully kill one of the HP officers with his gun, would you stand up for them as well?

  • Cynthia

    Hey commenters, let’s let Dennis have a pass here. He does frequently have some unusual viewpoints here on the blog but I think we should maybe all just back off of raining censure down on him.

  • Scott

    This guy was high on meth, according to the toxicology report. Given this loser’s past and continuing criminal behavior, this can’t be a huge surprise to his parents. If you fire a gun at a cop while fleeing, how can you not expect the cop to return fire?

  • Judge

    @Cynthia – no thank you.

  • Avid Reader

    @Cynthia, I merely asked @dennis beecherl a question, no censure here. Just curious if he can extrapolate or defend his “unusual viewpoints”. Censuring would be asking for his ridiculous statement to be removed.

  • LucyDoo

    The guy was a criminal with outstanding warrants who fired a gun to escape from police custody. He is at fault and, in my opinion, his behavior is the primary cause of his death. The serious mistakes the police made improperly securing and disarming him should not be ignored as they also contributed to this needless death. However, that does not by any means excuse the criminal of his actions…and it sure doesn’t sound like a violation of his civil rights to me.

  • http://Beecherl.dennis73@gmail.com Dennis Beecherl

    I would like to thank you cynthia

  • LOL-erz

    Meth + rock-head gf + stolen transportation + gun + 5-0 encounters in a HEAVILY POPULATED URBAN AREA = GAME THE F OVER PEOPLE. Shot in the back or face, it was the proper call. I’d hope that if some doped-out junkie was running around me and my children with a gun there would be police to stop him.. But lets think about this for a second, the officers will probably loose their jobs over this HORRIBLE WASTE OF A HUMAN BEING.. These officers probably WANT to provide for their families, unlike this POS. (P.S. Happy birthday! Add it to my credit buddy ;-)

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