Dallas, TX – Dallas Police Department (DPD) Officer Mitchell Penton died in the line of duty early Saturday morning, after an alleged intoxicated driver slammed into him as he was standing outside his patrol vehicle at the scene of another crash.
The incident occurred on the northbound lanes of the North Central Expressway near Walnut Hill Lane at approximately 1:45 a.m., KTVT reported.
Officer Penton, 27, responded to the scene of the crash and parked his patrol car with his emergency lights activated, then exited his car to help with the investigation, police said.
While he was outside of his vehicle, 32-year-old Phillip Mabry crashed into him at a high rate of speed, KTVT reported.
Mabry was arrested on charges of intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter on a police officer.
A female passenger inside the suspect’s vehicle suffered a laceration to her face and injuries to her chest in the crash, KTVT reported.
She was transported to the hospital in unknown condition.
Officer Penton was also rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, KTVT reported.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that this morning at approximately 0125 a @DallasPD officer, working an accident scene, was struck and killed by a DWI driver,” Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia tweeted on Saturday. “Our department is once again mourning, but we are heartened by the strength of his family. Godspeed my brother.”
Officer Penton served the DPD for two years, and was assigned to the Northeast Patrol Division, according to a fundraising page established to help his family in the wake of their loss.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the city is mourning the death of the young officer.
“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,” Johnson said in a statement, according to KTVT. “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.”
Officer Penton leaves behind his wife, Noel, who is pregnant with their first child together, and his stepson, Cashton, according to the fundraising page.
He is also survived by his parents and siblings.
“Mitchell will always be remembered for his infectious smile and kind soul,” the page read.
The campaign has raised over $19,300 so far.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott offered his condolences to Officer Penton’s family on Saturday.
“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,” Abbott said, according to KTVT. “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/Dxu0AO06a8
— Eddie Garcia (@DPDChiefGarcia) February 13, 2021
— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) February 13, 2021
Dallas Police Officer Mitchell Penton #11654. End of Watch February 13, 2021. Gone but never forgotten. Rest In Peace. We’ll take the watch from here. pic.twitter.com/vMfcoAxt9n
— Dallas Police Hockey Fndn (@DPDhockey) February 13, 2021
— Dallas PD Tactical Support (@TacticalDPD) February 15, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Dallas Police Department Officer Mitchell Penton, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.