U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On April 23, 2021, at about 2:15 p.m., Russell and Myra King, a married couple, were driving to their home in Haslet, Texas.
Haslet is a small community on the North edge of Tarrant County, part of the Fort Worth-Dallas metroplex. It had been cloudy with showers all day, but the sun peeked from behind the clouds in the afternoon of the 23rd.
According to reports on nbcdfw.com, which includes video, Russell noticed two pickup trucks moving past him much faster than the traffic flow. One of the trucks exited the highway, the other pulled in front of him and brake-checked him (requiring the vehicle behind them to forcefully apply the brakes to avoid a collision). The pickup truck is said to have followed them into a Walmart parking lot, with the driver giving them the finger, then pursuing them in traffic and making several dangerous maneuvers in the pursuit.
When the Kings arrived home, they backed into their garage and called 911. A few minutes later they were shocked to see the pickup in front of their house. Russell said he believed he saw the driver retrieve a gun from the vehicle.
What happened next is not in dispute. Here is the report on 28 April, from nbcdfw.com:
A state trooper who was shot in the shoulder near Haslet on Friday afternoon has been released from the hospital and the sole suspect is in custody, officials say.
The incident happened before 3 p.m. in the 500 block of Salida Road. Officials said they arrested one person at the scene.
The trooper was hospitalized at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth on Friday. His injuries were described as serious but not life-threatening, a MedStar spokesman said.
Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Lonny Haschel said Saturday that the trooper, a special agent assigned to the criminal investigation division, was released from the hospital.
Here is another report, originally from the Star-Telegram, also on April 28th. From msn.com, reprinted from Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Apr. 28—A man may have shot a Texas Department of Public Safety special agent on Friday near Haslet without knowing the man he fired on was a law enforcement officer approaching his residence, the agency said.
A caller to 911 reported that a pickup truck followed the caller to a house in the 14400 block of Mainstay Way and that he saw a man walking with a gun, according to a Fort Worth police call log.
The man who shot Special Agent William Wallace in the shoulder has not been charged, and DPS declined to release his name. Wallace was seriously injured but was released on Saturday from a hospital and is recovering at home.
The actions of Special Agent William Wallace were captured on the King’s live camera surveillance system, so there was no dispute. From 5nbcdfw.com:
The trooper, later identified as William Wallace, was a special agent assigned to criminal investigations and worked in plainclothes.
“There was no identification whatsoever,” King said. “There was no vest. There was no badge. Just a brown shirt and jeans.”
The doorbell video shows Wallace shouted “police” when he knocked on the door. King said he never heard it.
Wallace was rushed to a hospital where he was treated and soon released.
In early reports, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Wallace was conducting an investigation. As reported on 23 April, from nbcdfw.com:
The trooper was driving an unmarked pickup and was conducting an investigation in the Haslet area when he encountered the suspect who shot him. The agent did not return fire, Haschel said.
Haschel declined to give details on the nature of the investigation or release the names of the suspect and officer.
Later reports did not mention any ongoing investigation involving the Kings.
On September 7, It was reported a grand jury had decided there was no crime to be prosecuted. This is called a “no bill”. King said he felt intense relief when the grand jury declined to charge him with any criminal act.
Russell King was handcuffed, detained, and questioned in the back of a police car shortly after the incident. He was never arrested or held in custody. Russel King has no criminal record.
The Department of Public Safety has not released a report on the incident yet, saying it is still under investigation.
In this case, the door camera video does not clearly exonerate Russell King. Added to the testimony of the car chase, it becomes important.
Speculation: There is other digital evidence, perhaps vehicle logs, perhaps dashcam video, or other surveillance video evidence used in the investigation. Any mention of an ongoing investigation by William Wallace has disappeared, the reason for Wallace following the Kings to their home becomes suspect.
This is the first case this correspondent has read of where a peace officer was shot by a citizen, and no charges were brought, at least since 1900.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.