Law enforcement officers know their jobs carry a degree of danger and the possibility of ending up on the wrong side of a suspect’s weapon. However, recently there has been an uptick in officers carrying out routine stops and being ambushed- something that does not usually come with the job.
Routine Traffic Stop…
In North Texas, officer Joshua Lott stopped a vehicle at 4:15 a.m. According to ABC News, when Lott walked up to the vehicle, which he pulled over for an equipment violation, the suspect Jerry Don Elders, 39, pulled out a gun.
Elder shot Lott multiple times according to Burleson Police Chief Billy Cordell.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Cordell said, “He had a through-and-through shot to his neck. It’s an amazing story. It could have been a very different outcome.”
Lott has been with the department since 2017, and is in stable condition. He reportedly was shot three times.
After Elders shot Lott, he and the two passengers in his vehicle fled the scene. Their car caught fire, causing them to leave it on the side of the road and run.
According to authorities, one of the passengers may have gone to a nearby home and stolen a car from the resident. The resident was shot and died from her injuries.
In the afternoon, officers located Elders in the woods by Gainesville, Texas. They believe that he was “involved in the death.”
The second passenger is still at large. Officers believe that that person is in the same area they found Elders.
Cordell said they have already located the third passenger of Elder’s car, and that person is being questioned regarding the incident.
No Such Thing As Low-Risk
Traffic stops for things like moving violations and equipment failure should be fairly low-risk stops for officers. Unfortunately, in today’s climate officers, are a target no matter what they are doing.
Suspects who do not want to be arrested are becoming more brazen as officers are getting less and less public support. Thankfully, in this situation, the officer is expected to survive.
However, if this trend continues to go unchecked, the next officer may not be so lucky.