Fired Texas police officer who killed 15-year-old boys indicted for murder
DALLAS — The fired Balch Springs, Texas, cop who shot and killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards was indicted Monday on a murder charge by a Dallas County grand jury.
Roy Oliver fired his rifle April 29 into a car of teenagers leaving a party. Police Chief Jonathan Haber originally said the black Chevrolet Impala was aggressively backing up toward Oliver and Officer Tyler Gross. Then, he corrected the information and said the car was driving away at the time Oliver fired. Edwards, who sat in the front passenger seat, was struck in the head.
Oliver was also indicted on four counts of aggravated assault for each of the teens in the car with Edwards.
Oliver’s attorney and Edwards’ family could not be reached immediately for comment.
Oliver was indicted last month on two aggravated assault charges after accusations he pulled a gun on two people in an unrelated road rage incident weeks earlier. District Attorney Faith Johnson said then Oliver was a “danger to the community.” That case was investigated more thoroughly after Edwards’ death. Originally Dallas police said no crime occurred.
No date has been set for Oliver’s trial. He is free on a $700,000 bond.
Oliver and Gross were at the home after a 911 call about reports of drunken teenagers. But they arrived and found no alcohol or drugs in the home. The officers were inside when they and partygoers heard gunshots. Oliver and Gross ran outside. Oliver went to his patrol car for his rifle and Gross ran toward where he thought the shots came from.
The shots everyone heard while inside the house, investigators later learned, came from the parking lot of a nearby nursing home.
Oliver grabbed his rifle from a patrol car as Edwards, his brothers and two friends got in a car to leave the party. Gross walked up to the car, yelling for them to stop. He broke a window of the car with his gun. The kids drove off.
Oliver, a six-year veteran of the force, shot through a passenger window and killed Edwards.
Edwards was a Mesquite High freshman who had begged his parents for weeks to attend the party. He was there with his two brothers and two friends, who were in the car when Oliver fired into it.
His football coach, Jeff Fleener, has said he was “crushed and heartbroken” when he found out Edwards had been killed. He said Edwards was a good kid who never got into trouble and had a GPA over 3.5.
Fleener has been at the school only two months, but he said Edwards introduced himself on his first day and that the two became “quick friends.” Edwards played on the freshman team and was supposed to begin playing defensive back this spring.
Edwards had a “smile that could light up a room,” Fleener said, and many friends.
“The best thing in the world or the worst thing in the world would happen, and he’d smile, and everything would be OK,” the coach said. “You create a checklist of everything you would want in a player, a son, a teammate, a friend, and Jordan had all that. He was that kid.”
Before becoming a peace officer in 2010 in Dalworthington Gardens near Fort Worth, Oliver had been on active duty with the Army since 2004. He served two tours in Iraq, from October 2004 to September 2005 and from January to November 2009.
He rose to the rank of sergeant and earned commendations, including a medal for good conduct. He also served in the Texas National Guard until 2012.
Oliver worked intermittently for Dalworthington Gardens over a span of 12 years. The city said in a prepared statement that he was hired in 1999 to work as a dispatcher, transferred to public works and then moved back to dispatch in 2002. He served in the city’s Department of Public Safety less than a year — from September 2010 until he resigned in May 2011.
RoyOliver, afiredBalch Springspoliceofficer,is showninaMay5Parker CountyJailbookingphoto afterheturnedhimselfinon achargeofmurder.