What is a Blue Alert? One was issued after North Texas shooting Sunday injured police officer

Texas
Royce Wood, 43 (Photos from Wise County Sheriff's Office)

Royce Wood, 43 (Photos from Wise County Sheriff’s Office)

RHOME, Texas (KXAN) — The Wise County Sheriff’s Office expanded its search to the entire state of Texas for a suspect in connection with a shooting that injured a police officer.

Officials issued a Blue Alert for Royce Wood, 43, of Azle, who is wanted after police say he shot a Rhome Police Department officer in the leg during a traffic stop near Highway 287 and FM 407 around 8 p.m. Sunday.

Blue alert issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said Wood and a woman on a motorcycle were pulled over after authorities saw them and said they matched the description of people wanted in a Saturday home invasion. Wood, the driver of the motorcycle, got off it and fired “a couple shots,” Akin said.

The officer was taken to a hospital in Forth Worth and was stable at last check.

Wood fled the scene on foot and the woman was arrested at the scene.

Wood is described by police as:

  • White man, 43 years old
  • 6’2″, 200 pounds
  • Bald
  • Green eyes
  • Was last seen wearing a baseball cap with a camouflage bandanna around it, black sunglasses, a vest along with a green shirt and shorts

WCSO posted these photos and a flyer to its Facebook page, and they increased the reward money from $5,000 to $6,000 for tips leading to an arrest. Wood is considered armed and dangerous and if you see him, call 911 immediately.

What is a Blue Alert?

The Blue Alert program is used to alert the public about people who are accused of killing or seriously injuring police officers or other members of law enforcement, in an effort to apprehend the suspect as soon as possible, according to Texas DPS.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed an executive order in 2009 to start the program, which includes emergency messages sent to cell phones and other devices with relevant information about the suspect designed to facilitate tips and leads.

The criteria DPS uses to issue the alerts are:

  • 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 DPS

Texas DPS originally sent the alert regarding Wood at 10:18 p.m. to cell phones, the @TX_Alerts Twitter account and email. To subscribe to alert emails, go to the DPS’ site and sign up.

Emergency alerts can be toggled on and off in your cell phone settings.

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