A McLennan County grand jury has cleared nine Waco police officers who last month shot and killed a 76-year-old Waco man who killed his landlord, barricaded himself inside his residence and later fired at officers surrounding his apartment.
The panel determined the officers committed no criminal wrongdoing in their response to shots fired by Ent Wright Aug. 3 at the Rex-Plex Apartments, 701 Rambler Drive.
On the day of the incident, Waco Police Chief Sheryl Victorian said nine officers fired shots at Wright after the tenant shot and killed 65-year-old Alva Stem Jr., the owner of the apartment complex.
Victorian said Wright went inside his apartment after shooting Stem. As a SWAT team and negotiators were setting up outside his apartment, Wright stepped out with a gun and fired multiple shots, prompting the officers to return fire, Victorian said. No officers were injured.
Officers found Stem dead with two gunshot wounds to the abdomen, police said.
“Our officers subsequently fired at the suspect who had a weapon,” Victorian said. “Officers were very, very careful in their approach.”
Wright was taken to a local hospital, where he died later that day, police said. Police said they found a 12-gauge shotgun at the scene plus the weapon Wright had when he was shot.
The Texas Rangers and Waco police both investigated the shooting, officials said. Texas Ranger Jake Burson presented evidence to the grand jury Thursday morning before the panel determined there was no wrongdoing by the Waco officers.
Fatal shootings involving police are presented routinely to grand juries for consideration of officers’ actions.