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Texas policeman shot while serving search warrant in murder case

By Jana J. Pruet

SAGINAW, Texas (Reuters) - A veteran Texas police officer was shot in the leg on Tuesday while serving a search warrant at the home of a man suspected in the death of a 6-year-old girl, authorities said.

Police returned fired and hit the suspect in the head. The suspect, who was hospitalized in critical condition, was not identified.

Officer Charles Lodatto, 45, the Arlington police 2012 detective of the year, was struck in the right groin. Surgeons repaired his femoral artery but he will need more surgery, Dr. Will Witham told a briefing at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, where they were taken.

Six-year-old Alanna Gallagher's body was found on July 1 wrapped in a tarp about a mile from her home in Saginaw, about 40 miles west of Dallas. The suspect was in a house a few doors from where Gallagher had lived.

"The suspect produced a weapon and shots were fired," said Katherine Chaumont, spokesperson for the Dallas FBI.

(Reporting by Jana Pruet; Editing by Greg McCune)