WACO (May 15, 2013)—Two Waco police officers who were involved in a shooting in January that left a local man injured were cleared Wednesday by the McLennan County Grand Jury.
The grand jury declined to indict Officers, Hans Fitting, a 23-year veteran, and Don Patterson, a 14-year veteran in the shooting on Jan. 11 at 3424 Forrester Lane that left Michael Ray Hall, 46 injured.
“We are pleased the grand jury agreed with the Waco Police Department, the Texas Rangers, and our office that these officers acted appropriately in this situation and now these officers can put this behind them and move forward,” McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said in a statement.
After the shooting, both officers were placed on administrative duty while the Waco Police Department conducted separate criminal and investigations that showed that Fitting and Patterson “followed department training procedures and state law,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said in a press release Wednesday.
Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman said the department’s review of the shooting was thorough.
“Both investigations showed that officers acted appropriately when they were faced with a threat to themselves and others,” he said.
Patterson has since returned to full duty and after the grand jury’s decision Wednesday, Fitting will, as well, Swanton said.
The shooting occurred after the two officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the home on Forrester.
Hall was shot in the lower jaw as he moved toward one of the officers in what police said was a threatening manner after a woman involved in the incident told Fitting and Hall the man was armed and had fired a shot inside the house.
Hall was conscious, walking and talking after the shooting.
Hall was on parole at the time of the shooting after serving 21 years for aggravated assault on a police officer, according to online records.
When the officers arrived the woman told them a man who was armed was inside the home.
As they tried to make contact with the man he "confronted officers in a threatening manner," Swanton said.
"One of the officers, believing the suspect was armed, shot the suspect," Swanton said.
Officers later discovered the man wasn't armed, but had left the weapon in a bedroom where investigators later determined he had fired it just before officers arrived.
Hall has been named in a federal indictment charging possession of at least 50 grams of methamphetamine and convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The indictment shows Hall has earlier state convictions for stealing a car in 1986, burglarizing a building in 1987, and that he was convicted as a habitual criminal in 1990 on a charge of aggravated assault on a peace officer.