Police officer fatally shoots 19-year-old in Mesquite, Texas, suspect in a vehicle theft

Dec 15, 2023, 6:07 AM

MESQUITE, Texas (AP) — Police in Mesquite, Texas, say an officer investigating a stolen vehicle fatally shot a 19-year-old man who was in another vehicle.

The officer saw the stolen vehicle being followed by a second vehicle, then both stopped at a convenience store early Thursday in the east Dallas suburb, the Mesquite Police Department said in a statement.

The officer found the stolen vehicle unoccupied at gas pumps and saw two men fleeing the scene as he went to the second vehicle where four people were inside, police said.

The driver of the second vehicle refused to obey the officer’s orders to turn off and stop moving the vehicle.

“The driver continued making furtive movements inside the vehicle and during the course of the encounter the officer fired three rounds, striking the driver,” the police statement said.

Police identified the driver as Payton Lawrence, 19, of Mesquite.

Firearms were found inside the vehicle, police said.

The three people inside the vehicle were questioned and one, a 19-year-old from Dallas, was arrested on outstanding warrants, police said. The two men seen fleeing the area remained at large.

A police spokesperson did not immediately respond to a telephone call for comment early Friday.

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Police officer fatally shoots 19-year-old in Mesquite, Texas, suspect in a vehicle theft