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4 Officers Injured in Texas Shootout

Two are hurt critically after a man grabs guns from policemen. The suspect is shot dead.

January 04, 2003|From Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Four police officers were wounded -- two critically -- after a man grabbed guns from two of them while they tried to break up a fight at a restaurant early Friday, authorities said.

One of the officers fatally shot the man, identified by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as Jamie Lichtenwalter, 26.

Officers were called to a Denny's restaurant in the northeast section of the city about 3:30 a.m. after Lichtenwalter confronted a man who had gone out with Lichtenwalter's girlfriend, said Sgt. Gabe Trevino, a San Antonio police spokesman.

The girlfriend told a restaurant worker to call police because Lichtenwalter had a shotgun in his car and had threatened to kill her, Trevino said.

When police arrived, Lichtenwalter punched Det. John Bocko, grabbed his gun, and eventually fired all 16 rounds in the clip, Trevino said. He then took a gun from Officer David Evans and was firing that weapon when Officer Michael Muniz shot him to death, Trevino said.

Evans, 51, and Muniz, 22, were in critical condition after emergency surgery Friday. Police said Evans, who was shot in the abdomen and chest, is a 25-year veteran, and Muniz, shot in the neck and chest, has been a policeman five months.

Less seriously injured were Officer Nathan Murray, 33, who was shot in the face, and Bocko, 34, who suffered a bullet-graze wound to his back.

Lichtenwalter, who had worked as a bouncer at area strip clubs, was released from prison in July 2001 after serving seven years for attempted murder. Lichtenwalter was convicted of a 1992 shooting in a San Antonio suburb that left a teenager brain-damaged and paralyzed.

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