Fired Texas po­lice of­fi­cer who killed 15-year-old boys in­dicted for mur­der

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Sports - By Jen­nifer Emily and Tasha Tsi­a­peras

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.


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