Dallas police officer dies after being hit by suspected drunk driver

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DALLAS (KXAN/NBC News) — The Dallas Police Department is in mourning after one of its own was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver early Saturday morning.

Police say Officer Mitchell Penton was directing traffic around a crash on the highway when a man driving at high speed hit his patrol car — pushing it into him.

Penton was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia tweeted on Saturday, as the department held a procession: “Tragic night for us. This, a small sign of respect and admiration for a fallen brother and his family. Thank you to all Fire/EMS and to Baylor Medical Center for your tireless efforts. Rest easy, hero. We’ll take it from here.”

The Dallas Police Association says Penton leaves behind a wife who is pregnant with their first child.

Police departments across the state — and beyond — took to social media to pay respects to Officer Penton and deliver wishes for his family. Texas departments in Austin, Fort Worth, McKinney and Houston all posted — as did out-of-state departments in

Meanwhile, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson also released a statement saying, in part: “He died far too young, but the measure of a life is not longevity, but what someone does with the time they have. And this officer dedicated his time to serving our great city in an inherently dangerous job. We are forever indebted to him and forever heartbroken by this tragedy. I am praying today for his family, friends, and colleagues. I know our city will provide them with love and support as we seek justice.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday, saying: “Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of the Dallas Police Department officer who was killed in the line of duty this morning. This terrible loss is a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while serving and protecting our communities. Cecilia and I ask our fellow Texans to join us in lifting up the officer’s family and the entire Dallas Police Department in prayer during this difficult time.”

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