Texas officer faces murder charge in fatal shooting of black teen leaving party
Hope Waters, left, her brother Jeremiah, center rear, and their mother Yulise, center right, light candles with Linda Abrasion Evans, right, during a candle light vigil for Jordan Edwards in Balch Springs, Texas, Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Tony Gutierrez / AP)
A white Texas police officer has been charged with murder in the shooting of a black teenager for which the officer was fired, according to an arrest warrant issued Friday.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office issued the warrant for former Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver in the April 29 shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, according to a sheriff’s office statement. The statement cited evidence that suggested Oliver "intended to cause serious bodily injury and commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that caused the death."
Oliver fired a rifle at a car of teenagers leaving a party, striking and killing Edwards. The shooting led to protests calling for Oliver to be charged. About 200 people attended a vigil Thursday night in the Dallas suburb.
The warrant states that any peace officer may arrest Oliver, and that Oliver could also turn himself in to authorities. Meanwhile, sheriff’s spokeswoman Melinda Urbina said, the investigation into the shooting continues.
Oliver’s attorney, Cindy Stormer, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. The attorney for the teen’s family, Lee Merritt, said he would issue a statement later Friday.
Edwards and his two brothers and two other teenagers were driving away from an unruly house party in Balch Springs late Saturday night when Oliver opened fire on their vehicle with a rifle. The bullets shattered the front passenger-side window and struck Edwards. Oliver was fired Tuesday for violating department policies.
It took a few moments for Edwards’ 16-year-old brother, who was driving, and other passengers to notice that he was slumped over in his seat.
This undated family photo provided by Edwards family attorney Lee Merritt shows Jordan Edwards, left, posing for a photo with his father, Odell Edwards. Jordan Edwards shot and killed by a white police officer while riding in a vehicle leaving a party.
Records show that Oliver was briefly suspended in 2013 following a complaint about his conduct while serving as a witness in a drunken-driving case.
Associated Press writers Terry Wallace, Paul J. Weber and Juan A. Lozano contributed to this report.