TEMPLE (February 7, 2013)—The Bell County grand jury declined to indict a Temple police officer who last June shot and killed a man during a hostage situation at Scott and White Hospital.
The grand jury on Wednesday found no wrong doing and declined to indict Temple police Cpl. Joseph Robertson, an 11-year veteran of the department, in connection with the shooting death of Larry Wayne Robards on June 18, 2012.
Temple Police Chief Gary Smith issued a statement Thursday afternoon thanking the Texas Rangers and Bell County District Attorney’s office investigators for their work in investigating the shooting.
“I am pleased with the Grand Jury's decision and I am confident that it has made a very appropriate decision in this matter,” he said.
“I would also like to thank the many citizens who have expressed their thoughts, prayers, and sympathies for all the people involved in this difficult incident,” he said.
Robertson never was charged in the shooting but the case was taken to grand jury as a matter of routine, said First Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe.
Robards was shot and killed after he took and held hostages inside Scott and White’s emergency room, a police report said.
Robards, 54, of Temple, was a gymnastics coach who suffered intense pain from lupus, his son said at the time of the incident.
Robards lost his leg to the disease 12 years ago and went to the hospital seeking stronger pain medication, his son, Calvin, told KXAN-TV in Austin.
Calvin Robards told the TV station his father knew many of the staff members at Scott & White because his wife Jill once worked there as a nurse.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body including skin, joints and internal organs, causing inflammation and pain.
It can range in severity from mild to life threatening, according to the Lupus Foundation of America, which estimates 5 million people worldwide have a form of the disease, which primarily strikes women of childbearing age.
Robards coached tumbling at Gabrielle's Dynamics Plus at 5311 205 Loop in Temple, according to the gym's website.
Temple police say at around 6:45 p.m. on June 18, Robards walked into the emergency room at the South Tower of Scott & White and pulled out a gun.
Robards then took several medical workers and other staff members hostage.
Police located Robards and hostages in a commons area of the emergency room and began to negotiate with the man.
Police then say one of the hostages reached for Robards gun, and tried to wrestle it away from him.
That's when Robertson fired his gun and shot Robards.
No one else was injured.