- Associated Press - Sunday, April 24, 2011

VENUS, Texas (AP) — A North Texas deputy died Saturday after being shot in the line of duty in a small town south of Dallas-Fort Worth, and a suspect also was shot fatally, authorities said.

Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford said in a statement that the shooting erupted Saturday afternoon near Venus and that a suspect was shot dead by deputies.

Sheriff Alford didn’t identify the suspect or the officer in his release, but local media outlets said Sheriff Alford later spoke to reporters outside a Fort Worth hospital where the deputy had been rushed and identified him as Deputy Clifton Taylor, 31.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said Deputy Taylor, who had been with the department for a little more than three years, had been shot three times — in his neck, side and back.

“I can’t say enough what a fine officer Clifton Taylor was,” Sheriff Alford was quoted as telling the newspaper. “He will be missed.”

A supervisor at the John Peter Smith Hospital, Anthony Vargas, told the Associated Press early Sunday that a man identified as Clifton Taylor was pronounced dead at the Fort Worth hospital on Saturday evening. Mr. Vargas said the man had at least one gunshot wound, but he declined to release further information.

Sheriff Alford said earlier that no further information would be released as the investigation continues.

Tim Jones, the agency’s spokesman, said in the statement that the sheriff’s office “requests your support and prayers during this very trying time in our agency.”

Venus is a town of less than 2,000 people, located about 30 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth. Local reports said Texas Rangers would take part in the investigation, as is customary when an officer is shot.

Video footage after the shooting showed law enforcement officers pacing about a shed in a yard while an ambulance stood by and a crime scene photographer worked at the site.

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