Law enforcement activated a statewide notification system after a suspect shot a sheriff’s deputy Monday night in the Wichita Falls area.
People across the state of Texas are now asking, “what is a Blue Alert, and why did I just get one on my phone?”
Blue Alerts have been active in the state of Texas since Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order in 2008 to speed up the apprehension of criminals who seriously injure or kill law enforcement officers.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is actively searching for the suspect accused of shooting a Clay County Sheriff’s Deputy after a traffic stop near the town of Jolly, east of Wichita Falls.
The unidentified white male was last seen seen around 7 p.m. on U.S. Highway 287. DPS described the suspect as having a thin build and was wearing dark clothing and a flat-billed cap.
He was driving a white, four-door Cadillac sedan with dark window tint. “Vehicle is believed to have damage, including a possible broken or damaged rear window and possible bullet holes,” a news release stated. The license plate, FXJ1334, was not registered to the vehicle, according to DPS.
Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde said the deputy was hit in his bulletproof vest and is expected to be okay, KAUZ-TV reported.
Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.
According to Texas DPS, the criteria for a blue alert are as follows:
A law enforcement officer must have been killed or seriously injured by an offender.
The investigating law enforcement agency must determine that the offender poses a serious risk or threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel.
A detailed description of the offender’s vehicle, vehicle tag, or partial tag must be available for broadcast to the public.
The investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction must recommend activation of the Blue Alert to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).