UPDATED 12/5/14: The Lewisville police officer involved in the shooting on Nov. 26 was identified as Officer Butch Steinle, according to a news release issued Friday by the Lewisville Police Department. Steinle is a nine-year veteran of the department assigned to the patrol division and is also a member of the SWAT team. As per department policy, Steinle was evaluated by a mental health professional and deemed fit to return to duty. Officer Steinle has returned to duty. The investigation is still on-going in the shooting death of 22-year-old Davis Jay Thomas (pictured), who was shot and killed after he reportedly fired a shotgun at a Lewisville police officer and attempted two carjackings.
UPDATED 11/30/14: Thomas apparently had multiple brushes with the law according to police records.
Records show such charges as assault of a public servant, attempt to take the weapon of a police officer, two counts of evading arrest, a count of resisting arrest, failure to give identification/false identification, theft of a firearm and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Lewisville police have not identified the officer involved in the shooting due to an ongoing investigation by the Texas Rangers. The officer is on administrative leave.
UPDATED 11/28/14: The Lewisville Police Department confirmed the identity of the Highland Village car theft suspect involved in Wednesday’s police shooting at the RaceTrac near Vista Ridge Mall as Davis Jay Thomas, 22, of Garland.
ORIGINAL STORY: Lewisville police shot and killed a gun-toting suspect Wednesday afternoon after he stole a car from Highland Village, led police on a chase, wrecked and attempted to carjack a woman pumping gas in Lewisville.
Capt. Dan Rochelle said the unidentified suspect responded to a “for sale” sign placed on a vehicle by a Highland Village physician.
Highland Village police said the vehicle was at a business in the 200 block of Marketplace, behind Walmart. The physician trying to sell the car told police around 11:13 a.m. Wednesday that the suspect drove off in the vehicle. The suspect was described as a white male wearing a dark-colored shirt.
Rochelle said Lewisville police officers responded at 11:47 a.m. to a firearms complaint at The Cracker Barrel Restaurant at 899 S. Interstate 35E just south of Fox Avenue. The 911 caller reported that he had just had a person cause damage to his car while on the highway and he had followed him to the restaurant. The caller told police that as he confronted the suspect in the parking lot, the man then displayed a shotgun and pointed it at the driver.
While setting up a perimeter at the scene, officers learned the suspect’s car had just been stolen from a doctor’s office, according to the report. Officers then began searching for the suspect. About an hour later at 12:45 p.m., a patrol officer saw a vehicle – a grayish Nissan – pull out of the parking lot at a high rate of speed. When an officer attempted to stop the car, the suspect fled. The officers pursued the fleeing vehicle in a brief pursuit that lasted about five minutes along FM 3040 not far from Vista Ridge Mall, and through several parking lots.
According to news reports, the suspect turned into the Sonic parking lot with police in pursuit, then came out of the shopping center onto Rockbrook, turning west on FM 3040 only to turn around again heading east in the wrong lane of traffic, crashing into two other cars at the traffic light on FM 3040 at Rockbrook.
The suspect’s vehicle ended up on a curb facing RaceTrac, Rochelle said, adding the suspect exited his vehicle with a shotgun and ran over to a truck parked at pump 24 at the gas station. After trying unsuccessfully to steal it, the suspect then targeted an SUV parked at pump 22.
A woman who had just finished fueling up the SUV saw the man with the shotgun and ran behind her vehicle and eventually ran along the opposite side of her car to get away, police said. Shortly afterward, an officer pulled up and confronted the suspect. The suspect fired at least one round at the officer. The officer returned fire and the suspect was shot, stopping the fight, according to police.
The officer, who was not injured, rendered aid to the suspect before paramedics arrived and took over, police said.
The suspect was taken by ambulance to the Medical Center of Lewisville where he was pronounced dead. The suspect’s body has been taken to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.
A woman at the scene was injured slightly but had been treated at the hospital and released, Rochelle said. No one else was injured, he said.
Police said the man had been carrying a single-shot break-open type gun with a bandolier filled with bullets attached to it. The gun also had a tactical light attached to it.
Texas Rangers have been called in to investigate the shooting and will submit their findings to a Denton County Grand Jury.
The name of the officer involved in the shooting will not be released until the investigation is complete, officials said. As per departmental policy, the officer will be placed on leave.
Steve Southwell of The Lewisville Texan Journal contributed to this report.