Grand Jury Clears Officers Involved In Waco Gun Battle

Mike Joseph Alvarado (Jail photo)
By  | 

WACO (May 14, 2014) The McLennan County Grand Jury refused Wednesday to indict seven local law enforcement officers in connection with a gun battle in December in South Waco that left a deputy and a suspect injured.

McLennan County Sheriff's Capts. Steve Smith and "Bubba" Colyer, Lt. Johnny Spillman, Deputies Hunter Herring, Jeff Aguirre and Jud Tippie and Constable Walt Strickland were cleared in the shooting after Texas Ranger Jim Hatfield, who investigated the incident, testified before the panel.

A grand jury that met in March indicted Mike Joseph Alvarado, 26, on three counts of aggravated assault on a public servant in connection with the shootout.

"The grand jury agreed with the Texas Rangers and our office that the conduct of these brave men was justified under the law," District Attorney Abel Reyna said.

"It is routine for all officer involved shootings or use of deadly force matters to be reviewed by the grand jury, " Reyna said.

The shooting occurred at around 2 p.m. on Dec. 18 near America's Storage at 1215 Baylor Ave., following a search that started after police received a report that a woman was abducted at gunpoint from a home in the 3300 block of Lyle Avenue

As two deputies and a county constable confronted Alvarado, he tried to drive the truck through a gate to escape and then began firing, authorities said.

Sheriff's Lt. Johnny Spillman was struck once and Alvarado was hit several times.

Both were taken to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.

The woman later said she wasn't taken against her will and that the reports of the abduction were the result of a misunderstanding.

Alvarado remains jailed in lieu of bonds totaling more than $500,000.