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Sunday, October 4, 1998

Suspect in shooting of DPS trooper killed in gun battle

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A fugitive wanted in the shooting of a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper is dead after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during a shootout in which another police officer was also hit.

Fort Worth police exchanged shots with Charley Edward Cook, 23, Friday night. He was hit multiple times and taken to a hospital where he died, said DPS spokesman Mike Cox in Austin.

Cox said Fort Worth police officer Brad Thompson was shot in the exchange after the suspect was spotted at a house about 30 miles northeast of Granbury, the city near the scene of the trooper's attack.

On Friday, authorities issued an attempted capital murder warrant for Cook in connection with the shooting Thursday night of trooper Earl Gillum, 35, about 10 miles east of Granbury.

"The DPS, which had been following up leads all afternoon, got some information that the suspect was at a particular house and we had checked around it," said Cox. "The suspect saw a trooper and ran into a wooded area."

Fort Worth police and a tracking dog, Argo, followed the suspect into the woods.

"Then, the suspect started shooting at the officers," Cox said. "The officer who was shot was hit on his protective vest and was not hurt. A dog was also shot and is being treated by a Fort Worth veterinarian."

Thompson refused treatment and attended to Argo, who was hit at least once in the jaw.

DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said earlier Cook had previous warrants in Tarrant County alleging aggravated robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault on a public servant and possession of a prohibited weapon.

"There's really no rhyme or reason to this," she said. "Any time a trooper is out on the road or any time a DPS officer is doing his job, there's a definite danger there. It's always something they think about."

Gillum, who has eight years' service with the DPS, was in fair condition at Harris Methodist Fort Worth on Friday evening. He underwent surgery Thursday night.

"He's alert, he's talking," said DPS Cpl. Charlie Morgan.

The original shooting was reported at 8:37 p.m. on U.S. 377, between Granbury and the community of Cresson. Authorities said Gillum was shot in the right knee, left arm and the left temple as he approached the driver's side of the truck. A passing motorist apparently saw the shooting and used the trooper's radio to call for help.

Investigators believe Cook's outstanding warrants may have sparked the shootings.

"We're assuming that the motive is the outstanding warrants," Hood County District Attorney Richard Hattox told he Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Authorities said the suspect drove off westbound on the highway in a white, dual-axle Ford pickup with pinstripes and a vented tailgate.

Nearly three hours after the shooting, Ms. Mange said, authorities found the white pickup truck in Granbury, about 10 miles from where the shooting occurred.

Cook apparently had a lengthy criminal record, and the Star-Telegram reported that he had led police on car chases on at least two occasions in the past. In one incident, Cook and two accomplices reportedly stole beer from a gas station in Arlington and led officers on a hourlong chase that ended in Seagoville.

He also had an alias of Chad Wright, Hood County Sheriff Allen Hardin told the newspaper.

Troy Merle Hogue was the last DPS trooper shot in the line of duty. Ms. Mange said Hogue was fatally shot Dec. 30, 1994, while investigating a one-vehicle accident near Big Spring.


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