A Burleson police officer was shot multiple times as he got ambushed in a traffic stop in the early morning of Wednesday, April 14. The suspect, identified as 39 years old Jerry Don Elders, was later apprehended in the afternoon in Gainesville, Texas.
Officer Joshua Lott was making a traffic stop at 4:15 a.m. when he was shot by Elders, officials of the police department announced, saying they believed Lott was shot three times by the suspect.
Lott had approached the suspect’s car from the passenger side and observed two passengers, a white male in the back seat and a white female in the front passenger seat, and Elders in the driver’s seat. When he tapped on the car window, Elders opened fire with a handgun.
Burleson Police Chief Billy Cornell detailed the incident.
“He just leaned across the passenger side of the vehicle … and started firing shots right through the window of the car,” the chief said of Elders.
“There’s no other way to say it, he was absolutely ambushed during this attack,” Cordell commented.
The New York Post reports the police chief updated that the officer had been transported to a hospital and was in a stable condition.
“He had a through-and-through shot to his neck,” the police chief told reporters at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. “It’s an amazing story. … It could have been a very different outcome.”
The department announced Elders’ arrest at 2 p.m. on the same day. The suspect was detained in Gainesville, Texas, said police.
UPDATE: 2pm April 14
Suspect Jerry Don Elders is in police custody. Apprehended in Gainesville, TX. https://t.co/taqgIlM1za
— Burleson Police (@BurlesonPolice) April 14, 2021
Elders and two others in the car fled after the shooting, according to Cordell. After their vehicle erupted on fire about a half-mile away, they abandoned the car.
ABC News reported that one of the suspects entered a resident’s home later in an attempt to steal a car and shot its owner. Officials said that the victim died at the hospital.
Cordell recalled, “at 8:44 a.m. this morning, a female arrived at the Joshua Police Department … with gunshot wounds.”
Under a collaboration of multiple law enforcement agencies, comprised of the US Marshals and the Texas Rangers, they could locate Elders in a wooded area with another suspect near Gainesville, Texas, on Wednesday afternoon. Cordell added Elders was most likely responsible for the woman’s death.
Police are currently searching for the second suspect, Cordell said, referring that “We don’t know for sure who that is. They are continuing to search for that person.”
Likewise, the third person in the car with Elders when he shot Lott already had been identified by the department, and they confirmed they are trying to get in contact with the individual.