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Grand Jury Clears Local Officer Who Shot Teenager

Alexander Mendoza remains jailed in lieu of $30,000 bond charged with attempted capital murder. (Jail photo)

Alexander Mendoza remains jailed in lieu of $30,000 bond charged with attempted capital murder. (Jail photo)

WACO (September 11, 2013)—The McLennan County Grand Jury Wednesday declined to indict Waco police Officer Francisco Reyes, who shot a teenager after responding to a domestic disturbance in March.

Reyes shot Alexander Howard Mendoza, 19, on March 18 during the violent domestic disturbance at home in the 2000 block of Lyle Avenue.

Mendoza’s grandfather, Tommy Gene Smith, 60, was also wounded by gunfire.

Reyes and Officer Timothy Bonovitch arrived to find Mendoza holding a rifle and Smith wrestling with him to gain control of the gun, police said.

Bonovitch did not fire during the incident, police said.

Mendoza, who was indicted for attempted capital murder in May, remains in the McLennan County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bond.

Smith filed a lawsuit on June 11 in U.S. District court against the City of Waco and Reyes, alleging that the rifle, which Mendoza took from his closet while threatening to kill himself, was unloaded and without its magazine.

The suit says the bullet that struck Smith did permanent damage to his hand and required a partial amputation.

The bullet passed through Smith's hand and struck his grandson in the abdomen, the suit says.

The suit claims that officers failed to assess the situation adequately when they arrived and that failure resulted in what the suit calls the needless shooting of both Smith and his grandson.


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