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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dallas officer kills armed child molester

8-19-2005 Texas:
A convicted child molester who was wanted on a new charge was fatally shot Friday after fleeing from police into a Duncanville park and pointing a gun at a Dallas detective, authorities said.

Douglas H. Blackstone, 24, died about noon Friday at a Dallas hospital from gunshot wounds. He was convicted of the aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl in 2004 and ordered to serve 10 years' probation.

Friday morning, two detectives from the sex offender apprehension unit were trying to arrest Mr. Blackstone on a warrant alleging aggravated sexual assault of a child. They were also seeking him because he had moved without registering his whereabouts as required by state law.

Detectives looked for Mr. Blackstone at an apartment on Wheatland Road and at a relative's house in Duncanville, police said. Mr. Blackstone was at neither, police said.

About 11 a.m. Friday, police returned to the Duncanville address and a relative told them that Mr. Blackstone was armed and had fled. Other witnesses told police that an armed man had gone into Lakeside Park near Center Street and Tanglewood Drive.

Detectives called for backup and began a search of the park. School officials locked down nearby Hastings Elementary as a precaution.

About 11:20 a.m., a detective spotted Mr. Blackstone through a clearing in the park, police said. The officer briefly lost sight of him when he stepped off the trail.

"When he reappeared, the officer confronted him and identified himself as a police officer," said Sgt. Ross Salverino, a Dallas homicide investigator. "The suspect raised his weapon and attempted to fire. Our officer fired multiple times."

Police said the officer was wearing a jacket that clearly identified him as an officer. Authorities have recovered Mr. Blackstone's .45-caliber handgun from the scene.

Police say they believe this is the first time that the four-officer sex offender apprehension unit has been involved in a shooting.

An investigation into the incident is under way. The officer involved in the shooting, Senior Cpl. Samuel Griffin, was placed on one day's routine administrative leave.

"He's a 29-year veteran, and he's pretty well torn up about it," said Lt. Mike Scoggins, commander of the homicide unit.

Mr. Blackstone had a criminal history in Gregg County.

He was accused of theft by check, made restitution and pleaded guilty to a Class C misdemeanor in the 2000 case. He also completed a pretrial diversion program on a 2000 family violence assault charge, which resulted in the case being dismissed. ..more.. by TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News

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