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Trooper Shot at Traffic Stop Dies

August 8, 2000

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ A Department of Public Safety trooper who was shot in the head last week during a traffic stop has died.

Randall Vetter, 28, died Monday evening after five days in the intensive care unit, Brackenridge Hospital spokeswoman Shannon Whitehead said.

According to police, Vetter was shot in his patrol car Thursday by Melvin Hale, 72, whom Vetter had pulled over to ticket for not wearing a seat belt. Justice of the Peace Macel Sullivan said Hale said he felt his civil rights were being violated when Vetter pulled him over.

Hale later surrendered after reportedly using Vetter’s police car radio to call in the shooting. On Tuesday, an attempted murder charge against him was upgraded to capital murder, which makes Hale eligible for the death penalty.

Hale was ordered held without bond.

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