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Affidavit: Manslaughter suspect returned fire in fatal North Waco shooting

Affidavit: Manslaughter suspect returned fire in fatal North Waco shooting

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Police believe a man who killed one person and injured two others Tuesday was returning fire after the man who died initially shot at him, an arrest affidavit states.

Nicosia Omar Harlan, 25, of Waco, was arrested on a second-degree felony charge of manslaughter in the shooting death of Michael Ray Brooks Jr., 19, after the confrontation at a home in the 2500 block of Lasker Avenue. Police found Brooks dead in the home with multiple wounds from rifle fire, and they also found another man and a woman in the home with gunshot wounds that were not life threatening, Waco police Officer Garen Bynum said at the time.

Police determined Harlan was in his vehicle and could have left without firing the rounds that killed Brooks and injured the other two people, according to the affidavit.

McLennan County First Assistant District Attorney Nelson Barnes said he had not reviewed police reports about the incident and would not speak specifically about the charge.

“Generally speaking, murder requires an intentional or knowing act, and manslaughter has the mental state of reckless,” Barnes said. “Depending on the action of the person that would do a shooting, you have to look at if they were intentionally shooting at someone, or were they reckless in the discharge of a gun that caused the death of a person?”

The night of the shooting, police found Harlan at an apartment complex on North Valley Mills Drive based on witness descriptions of him and his vehicle, and he agreed to speak with officers about the incident, according to the affidavit.

“Harlan informed (police) that he had gone to 2513 Lasker to confront the individuals who had previously assaulted his relative and a friend,” the affidavit states. “Harlan informed (police) that he had brought a rifle with him as a precautionary measure.”

After Harlan went to the door, a man who knew Harlan tried to deescalate the situation and told Harlan to leave, the affidavit states. Harlan told officers another man, later identified as Brooks, was outside the front door with a pistol and fired several rounds at Harlan, and Harlan responded by returning fire toward Brooks, according to the affidavit.

“(The detective) knows that spent shell casing support Harlan’s statement of his location during the time the shots were fired,” the affidavit states.

The affidavit does not specify where Harlan was at the time of the shooting, but it states he could have left in his vehicle without firing.

Harlan was released from jail on $50,000 bond.

Bynum said Wednesday that the case remains under investigation.

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