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Shot Fort Worth officer faces more surgery; other officer released

One of the two officers shot while responding to a suicide call Friday night was released early Saturday and an officer who received more serious wounds was undergoing X-rays and could be headed toward more surgery.

Officer Xavier Serrano, a training officer, was shot multiple times, and is in stable condition at John Peter Smith Hospital, officials said Saturday.

Officer Ray Azucena, a probationary officer, was hit in the chest, but the bullet was deflected by his body armor. He was released from John Peter Smith Hospital early Saturday.

The two officers had been responding to a possible suicide call at 8:30 p.m. in the 3800 block of Wharton Drive, Sgt. Marc Povero, a police spokesman, said during a Friday night news conference.

“Two officers entered the house and found a dead elderly man in back bedroom,” he said. “Someone in the house said there might be a witness in a shed in the back yard. When officers attempted to enter the shed, someone fired at them.”

The officers fired back.

The suspect remained in the shed officers were “operating with extreme caution” by lobbing gas canisters at the shed from a distance.

Fort Worth police confirmed just before midnight that the suspect was found dead inside the shed, but the cause of death was not disclosed.

Officials have not released the identities of the elderly man nor person in the shed.

Neighbors reported hearing at least four gunshots. Dozens of police units converged on the residential neighborhood in far south Fort Worth, including SWAT units. Neighbors within a few blocks were asked to leave their houses until the situation stabilized.

At a news conference at JPS Hospital, Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald and Mayor Betsy Price were joined by officer Matt Pearce, who was badly injured in March when he was shot while chasing fugitives.

He is one of three officers shot in Tarrant County this year. Euless officer David S. Hofer was killed March 1 while responding to a call at a city park and was ambushed by a 22-year-old drug addict who previously threatened to kill police.

Two weeks later, Pearce was shot and was hospitalized for two months.

Arlington police officer Eddie Johnston was wounded in a shootout with a murder suspect in April. He was treated and released a few hours after being shot.

On July 7, five Dallas police officers were killed when a sniper opened fire at the end of a rally protesting the killings of black Americans by police. They were:

Officer Patrick Zamarripa, 32, of Fort Worth; Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, 48, of Burleson; Sgt. Michael Smith, 55, of Carrollton; Michael Krol, 40, who had lived in Burleson and Fort Worth; and DART officer Brent Thompson, 40, of Corsicana.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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