Three officers and suspect wounded by gunfire


Parker Dean
November 17, 2003, 03:10 PM
Corpus Christi TX,1641,CCCT_811_2434662,00.html

Shootout with police injures 4

Police arrest a man who escapes, gets a gun and shoots 3 officers, chief says

November 17, 2003

A domestic disturbance call early Sunday morning escalated into a shootout between police and a 21-year-old man, who was taken into custody in connection with the wounding of three officers, one seriously.

Wounded police officers included Officer Jose "Joe" Smith, who was shot in the head during the confrontation and was the most seriously wounded. Officer Phillip Bintliff, who was shot in the abdomen, was listed in serious condition, and officer Israel Carrasco, who was shot once in the left shoulder and once in the right leg, was in stable condition.

All three were taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial. Bintliff is 34 years old and has three years experience with the force. Carrasco, 32, has six years of experience. Smith, 28, has three years of experience.

Smith underwent surgery Sunday afternoon at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial and was listed in critical condition. Hospital staff have said Smith will likely survive his injuries, Police Chief Pete Alvarez said.

"They were able to remove some of the bullet fragments from the brain," said city spokeswoman Cheryl Alexander Soward. "He'll remain sedated through the evening."

The man police had in custody Sunday, Ishmael Salahud-Din, was also wounded. Alvarez released the man's name at a Sunday afternoon press conference. Salahud-Din was shot twice in the upper leg during the confrontation.

He remained under police guard Sunday afternoon at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial, and police were considering charges Sunday including attempted capital murder, evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance, officials said. Bond had not been set for Salahud-Din late Sunday.

Details about the moments that led up to and followed the confrontation were unclear, Alvarez said Sunday at the press conference.

"We are at the initial stages of this investigation," Alvarez said. "This is a very complicated scenario. We have a lot of things that have occurred and a number of officers involved in this investigation."

According to what police knew Sunday, the incident started with a call to police placed from a cell phone. The caller alerted police to a domestic disturbance at the Park Apartments in the 4000 block of Schanen Boulevard. Officers arrived on the scene around 3:15 a.m. and sometime thereafter arrested Salahud-Din for allegedly possessing marijuana.

Alvarez said Sunday that it is unclear how many officers responded to the initial domestic disturbance call and how many responded to a call for backup.

Salahud-Din was handcuffed and placed in the back of Bintliff's police cruiser. As Bintliff drove away from the complex, Salahud-Din somehow slipped out of his handcuffs or maneuvered his hands in front of his body with the handcuffs still in place. The arrested man then kicked out the rear window of the cruiser and escaped from the vehicle, Alvarez said. It was unclear Sunday afternoon how far from the complex the police cruiser was at the time that the man escaped. Alvarez did spans across 200 to 300 yards.

After the man escaped from Bintliff's cruiser, the officer called for backup and chased him on foot. At some point, officers Carrasco and Smith joined the chase.

Before Bintliff, Carrasco or Smith could catch up with the man who broke out of the police cruiser, the man reached the Park Apartments parking lot and removed a 40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol from his trunk, Alvarez said.

Alvarez said Sunday that it is not yet clear if the fleeing man or officer fired the first shot, or if all of the officers' injuries came from bullets fired out of the arrested man's weapon.

During the exchange of fire, officer Smith was struck once in the head, Bintliff was struck in the abdomen and Carrasco once in the shoulder and once in the right leg. The suspect was shot twice in the upper leg. No other injuries were reported.

Information on the driver's license of the man in custody indicates that he lives in San Antonio. Alvarez said he did not know if the wounded man was a resident of Corpus Christi.

Contact Janell Ross at 886-3758 or

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November 17, 2003, 05:49 PM
Prayers for the Officers and their familys

November 17, 2003, 08:49 PM
One of my buddies was an officer in Corpus until recently, and knows the three injured officers quite well. I'll post an update on their conditions when I hear back from him if ya'll would like...

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