DALLAS (AP) — A suspected intoxicated driver has been arrested after he struck and killed a Dallas police officer who was blocking the scene of an accident early Saturday, police said.
Officer Mitchell Penton was standing next to his patrol car with the emergency lights activated when the suspect slammed into Penton’s vehicle, causing it to strike the officer, police said in a statement.
Witnesses said the driver, 32-year-old Phillip Mabry, was driving very fast, police Sergeant Warren Mitchell said in the statement. Police have not said Mabry was speeding.
Penton was taken to Baylor Hospital, where he died.
Police said Mabry was arrested on warrants for intoxication manslaughter on a police officer and intoxication assault. Jail records do not list an attorney who could speak on Mabry’s behalf and police did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Mabry and a female passenger were not injured. Police haven’t released the passenger’s name, but said she was being questioned.
Chief Eddie Garcia said the Dallas Police Department (DPD) is in mourning.
“Our hearts are heavy right now. This young officer had such a bright future ahead of him,” Garcia said in a statement.
Penton’s death is devastating, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said.
“This officer dedicated his time to serving our great city in an inherently dangerous job. We are forever indebted to him and forever heartbroken by this tragedy,” Johnson said in a statement.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott offered prayers.
“This terrible loss is a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while serving and protecting our communities,” Abbot said in a statement.