North Texas – Police are asking for public’s help in locating the suspect who injured an officer during traffic stop Sunday night. The Police Department issued a Blue Alert on Monday for an armed felon on parole accused of shooting and injuring the police officer.
The suspect is identified as Royce Edward Wood and he is wanted by local and federal officials. According to police, he might still be in the area of Wise County Sunday, but maybe he was able to get away with the help of someone he knows.
Wood is a man well-known to police, Akin said.
“Law enforcement across North Texas knows of this guy,” Akin said. “We’re anxious to get him behind bars and we’ll do everything we can do to do this as quickly as possible.”
Rhome police pulled over two people on a motorcycle, at least one of whom matched the suspect description in a home invasion in the area Saturday night, near the intersection Farm-to-Market roads 407 and 2264, according to Akin.
Officers were told the man suspected in a home invasion the previous day was back in the neighborhood on his motorcycle.
The victim in that case was able to text 911 for help, but Wood left before police arrived Saturday.
Wood was driving the motorcycle and had a woman riding with him.
Akin said Wood got off the bike and started to run west along Farm-to-Market Road 407.
The officers ran after him and said Wood started to shoot at them, hitting one officer in the lower leg.
The officers returned fire but no additional injuries were reported.
As the injured officer’s partner stopped to render aid, Wood managed to escape into the brush along FM 407.
The injured officer was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth in stable condition.
The injured officer is a veteran in law enforcement with about 20 years of experience but had just started with the Rhome Police Department two to three days prior, the sheriff said. He previously worked for the Boyd Police Department.
The still unidentified officer also has a wife and children.
“We’re just so thankful that the injury was somewhat minor. I know he’s in a lot of pain and he would disagree that it was minimal,” Akin said. “If he sees this he’ll probably be griping, and I’ll get a call saying, ‘You see how minimal when you’re laid up with this pain.’ But he’s a great guy and we’re happy that he’s going to be OK and he’ll return to the badge soon.”
Local and federal authorities searched a 5-mile radius near the scene of the shooting Sunday night into Monday morning but did not find their suspect.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco and a K9 again scoured the side of FM 407 in Wise County on Monday afternoon.
Wood, Akin said, is linked to drug activity, which potentially includes Saturday’s home invasion.
Akin said the victim appears to have known Wood, who is accused of going into the victim’s house armed with guns and getting away with items. The sheriff said the subsequent investigation found drugs at the victim’s house, which is not far from the scene of Sunday’s shooting.
“That’s a common thread for this group of people and that common threat is methamphetamine,” Akin said.
The sheriff added that about 85% of inmates at the county jail are in custody related to meth — users or dealers.
A female passenger of the motorcycle was taken into custody and has cooperated with authorities.
The Wise County Sheriff’s Office issued a Blue Alert for Wood on Monday morning.
Wood was released from prison in 2019 and is currently on parole after being convicted in a “burglary of habitation” case out of Lubbock in 2012, according to online records.
The search has expanded to not only include the rural area but also includes anyone who knows Akin and who may be helping him evade capture.
“The people around him are in danger, I have no doubt,” Akin said. “We need to see that he’s brought to justice because we don’t appreciate that he’s gone out there, and simply because of a traffic stop, he turns and shoots one of our officers.”