12-5-05 - A Dallas police officer working undercover is expected to fully recover after being shot while working a sting operation, police say.
Mark Rickerman was investigating burglaries of motor vehicles in the Oak Cliff neighborhood just after midnight Sunday when a 17-year-old robbed him of personal items at gunpoint, police say.
Police said the robber shot the officer in the arm, side and foot. Rickerman fired back but the suspect was not hit.
Rickerman, 30, was hospitalized and is in "good spirits," police said. He is the third area officer in three weeks to be shot while on duty.
As Dallas police visited Rickerman at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Fort Worth police attended the wake of Officer Henry "Hank" Nava Jr., shot to death last week by a man police say was under investigation in an identity theft ring. Dallas police Officer Brian Jackson was killed Nov. 13 while responding to a domestic disturbance call.
"It's very concerning to us, and it's a reminder of how dangerous police work really is," Dallas police Lt. Rick Watson said.
After the shooting, the gunman jumped into a car and fled. Police followed and found the vehicle.
"The driver abandoned the vehicle, and officers managed to detain the suspect ...," Watson said.
Police said the suspect is a 17-year-old charged with aggravated robbery and juvenile probation violation. He is also being investigated in connection with other crimes.
Police do not have a detailed description of the driver, who is still at large.
Sgt. Paul Stokes said Rickerman is one of his top officers, typically pinpointing suspects or profiles the department needs to be looking for.
"He has such an insight for catching bad guys," Stokes said. "He knows where to go and where to put himself."
He said that Rickerman is expected to make a full recovery but that the shooting was difficult for the department, especially following the deaths of Nava and Jackson.
Rickerman has been on the force for about four years, police said.