FORT WORTH, TX – A man who shot a plainclothes Texas State Trooper in the shoulder through his closed front door following a sort of vehicular pursuit back in April has been no-billed by a grand jury, meaning he will be facing no charges related to the incident.
While the man who shot the state trooper has since come forward to describe the incident that led to the shooting, Texas State Trooper officials have yet to provide any comment on the case or the trooper injured during the incident.
New developments in the case of a Texas state trooper who was shot in Fort Worth in April. The man who shot him has been no-billed by a grand jury — and faces no charges. https://t.co/yQXNhszoLV
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) September 9, 2021
It’s a case that seems to leave more questions than answers.
On April 23rd, Russell King and his wife Myra were driving home near Haslet after getting some food when Russell said that he saw what he thought were two pickup trucks racing each other behind him:
“And 2 vehicles, 2 trucks came flying by us at a high rate of speed.”
Russell said then one of the trucks exited the highway, while the other sped past him and then got in front of his vehicle. Russell said then he could see the man in the truck glare at him through his rearview mirror, and suddenly applied the brakes while in front of him:
“And I visibly see him look in his mirror, shake his head like this, and that’s when he brake checked me.”
Russell said that the brake check was “very deliberate” and thought the driver of the truck was having some sort of a road rage episode. Moving past the driver of the truck, Russell said the driver then started pursuing him – even when he pulled into a Walmart parking lot – with the driver of the truck apparently flipping the bird at Russell:
“And that’s where I saw him giving me the finger.”
At that time, Russell said that he and his wife were getting real concerned for their safety, being completely oblivious that the person in the gray Chevrolet was State Trooper William Wallace, who works as a special agent with criminal investigations and operates in plainclothes.
Russell pulled out of the Walmart parking lot and back into traffic, and Trooper Wallace kept pursuing him, with Russell saying that the trooper started driving into oncoming traffic while chasing him:
“And he was pushing the car over and he was going into oncoming traffic and made a bus swerve.”
In hindsight, Russell said he remembers seeing some flashing lights in the grill of the truck, but noted that it didn’t seem like an official police vehicle at the time:
“They didn’t seem to be very official. I had never seen a police vehicle that was a gray Chevrolet truck.”
The couple were able to lose the trooper pursuing them and pulled into their house. Myra said that her husband told her to go hide and call the police:
“He just told me to just go inside the house, go into the closet, and talk to the 911 operator.”
Minutes after the Kings made it home, footage captured by the couple’s security system showed Trooper Wallace parking his Chevrolet along the curb outside their home. Russell was watching the live feed from his security system when the trooper retrieved something from the rear of his vehicle and approached the front door.
Russell thought the trooper had taken out a gun from his vehicle, and described the moments when Trooper Wallace began knocking on his door:
“I’ve never been so scared in my life. I really felt as if he were there to harm my wife and I…And I yelled ‘please go away, we’ve called 9-1-1.’”
Apparently, audio from the doorbell footage captured Trooper Wallace saying “police” while knocking, but Russell said he never heard the trooper say that through the closed door. Security footage then captured the moment when Russell fired a single shot through the door, hitting Trooper Wallace in the shoulder – with the trooper then running away from the porch thereafter.
Fort Worth Police arrived on the scene moments later and cuffed both Russell and his wife and placed them into the back of a squad car. It was there that they both learned that he had just shot a state trooper:
“He told me, ‘You’ve shot a state trooper.’ And my response was, ‘How?’”
Russell said the entire ordeal was confusing, as the trooper who stood outside his front door during the incident didn’t look like any sort of law enforcement officer:
“There was no identification whatsoever. There was no vest. There was no badge. Just a brown shirt and jeans.”
Neither Russell nor his wife were ever officially arrested, but Russell figured it was only a matter of time due to the gravity of the incident. However, when the case was presented before the grand jury this past August, the grand jury declined to charge him with a single crime.
Russell said the declined charges were a “relief” and his wife Myra says she wants to just move past the incident, but is still confused as to what happened that day in April:
“Yes I do want to forget about it but every time someone asks me, I don’t like – because it’s stuck in my head. I’m still confused.”
Trooper Wallace was taken to an area hospital after the incident and was released shortly thereafter. However, months after the incident – there are still numerous questions about the incident.
Russell King has a clean criminal record, and the original purpose of this pursuit has not been released by officials. The Texas Department of Public Safety has not provided any comment on the April incident and have declined to provide a copy of the Texas Ranger’s report on the investigation, saying the case is still under investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight on this developing story.
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Vindicated! Texas officer cleared by grand jury after shooting wanted felon who pointed gun at him
(Originally published September 4th, 2021)
HOUSTON, TX – A Galveston County grand jury has refused to indict La Marque police officer Jose Santos for fatally shooting a man who pointed a gun at him while running away last year.
Grand jury takes no action against La Marque police officer who killed 22-year-old Joshua Feast last Decemberhttps://t.co/VaYBBOeAJt
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) August 31, 2021
In December 2020, 22-year-old Joshua Feast was a suspect in multiple shootings and had arrest warrants for felony evading and felon in possession of a firearm. The police had tracked him to a residence on Pirtle Street on the night of December 9.
Officers called Officer Santos to the scene to identify Feast before attempting to make an arrest.
As Feast arrived around 11 p.m., Officer Santos observed him leaning into the passenger side of a vehicle.
Body camera video released by police shows Officer Santos arriving on the scene. As he pulls up, Feast can be seen running across the road in front of the officer’s patrol vehicle.
Officer Santos exited his patrol vehicle and drew his weapon. Feast continued to run when Officer Santos fired one shot, striking Feast in the back.
A Galveston County grand jury declined to indict a La Marque police officer who shot and killed 22-year-old Joshua Feast last December.https://t.co/RcQAYnaOWI
— Houston Public Media (@HoustonPubMedia) September 1, 2021
Officer Santos caught up to Feast and observed him laying on the ground wounded in a driveway of a residence. He immediately requested backup units and medics.
Officer Santos radioed:
“First unit to get here, I need you to recover the gun. He dropped it just outside of a Dodge Charger.
“It is somewhere on the ground. He pulled out of his waistband.”
He then asked his back up to “step it up” to the scene as a crowd of people formed and started screaming and shouting at the officer, clearly upset that Feast was shot.
Feast later died of his wound at a local hospital.
Nine months after Joshua Feast was fatally shot by La Marque Police Officer Jose Santos, a grand jury decided not to take action against Santos. https://t.co/db6HFloBJp
— The Daily News (@GalvNews) August 31, 2021
At a news conference Tuesday, Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady said the shooting was justified:
“I believe the evidence supports that it was justified. And I believe that the decision that the grand jury made today was correct and just.”
Galveston County Sheriff’s Lt. Mel Villareal went through the body camera video explaining the reasoning for the decision. In the video, although difficult to make out, Feast can be seen holding a gun as he runs.
The Sheriff explained that, even if Feast did not mean to aim the gun at the officer, it still posed a deadly threat:
“The hand that held the firearm that officer Santos had already seen was now raised again and pointing in his direction.”
At the 30 second mark on the video, the gun can be clearly seen falling to the ground from Feast’s hand.
Officers located a loaded 9mm Taurus pistol at the scene. A loaded Smith & Wesson Springfield .45-caliber handgun fell from his clothing in the ambulance.
When civil rights attorney Ben Crump released findings of an independent autopsy showing Feast was shot in the back, civil unrest and protests followed.
Crump, who is representing the family, called for Officer Santos to be fired. The attorney claimed that Feast was defenseless when he was shot:
“He was a defenseless man who was running away.
“There was no reason for [Santos] to shoot and kill this young man, who had only turned 22 three weeks ago.”
After the grand jury ruling was announced, Crump called the decision “devastating” to the family and community. He also said Officer Santos had a “history of brutality,” because of a 2013 lawsuit filed against him claiming he used excessive force while working for the Galveston Police Department.
“It is a disturbing failure of the La Marque Police Department that Santos was allowed to join their ranks.”
NEWS ALERT: @AttorneyCrump releases a statement on a grand jury’s decision not to take action against officer Jose Santos for the killing of Joshua Feast. On December 9, 2020, officer Santos shot 22-year-old Feast to death as he was running away. pic.twitter.com/n0oXhXNXMh
— Ben Crump Law, PLLC (@BenCrumpLaw) September 1, 2021
The lawsuit was dismissed by United States Magistrate Judge John R. Froeschner. The judge wrote in his decision:
“Since it is clear that any alleged use of excessive force occurred during Davis’ arrest and not during any subsequent pretrial detainment, his only remedy is under the Fourth Amendment… No amount of discovery will support Davis’ claim under the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The weekend following the shooting, dozens of demonstrators marched from a local food market to the steps of La Marque City Hall. Protesters also demanded the firing of La Marque Police Chief Kirk Jackson along with Officer Santos.
District Attorney Roady cited the intense community interest in the case as the reason for the press conference following the grand jury decision:
“This was a high-profile shooting; it drew a lot of scrutiny and public attention. And we wanted to make sure that at the end of this investigation, we provided the public with as much information as we could by law provide you and answer any questions as much as we can…
“So that the public can have confidence that the investigation was thorough and just, and the right result happened.”
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