TEMPLE (April 16, 2012)—Jeffrey Kindred, 39, of Temple was in the Bell County Jail Monday charged with attempted capital murder after what police described Monday as a life or death struggle during which an officer’s gun was grabbed and two shots were fired.
The incident, which left two Temple police officers with minor injuries, happened late Sunday afternoon following a call from a convenience store clerk who reported that a man who had stolen cigarettes previously had just left the business after buying gas.
"I figured he knew enough to stay away because he knew that I would recognize him," Christine Smith said.
Smith described the vehicle in which the man left the store and officers spotted it a short time later headed north in the 2800 block of South MLK Drive.
Officers pulled the vehicle over in the 1600 block of South 24th Street on the railroad overpass, police said.
After identifying the driver, who gave officers a false name, police determined he was named in an arrest warrant charging escape, but when they challenged the man about his identity, he ran, jumping over the guardrail and heading down a steep embankment to a wooded area about 50 yards away.
One officer gave chase while the second stayed with the woman who was a passenger in the vehicle.
The officer caught up with the man in the tree line and what police described Monday as a prolonged struggle ensued as he attempted to handcuff the suspect.
“As the struggle continued, the suspect began to actively assault the officer and was able to remove the officer's issued duty weapon from its holster and bring it up toward the officer’s head,” police said in a statement Monday.
The officer pushed the gun away just as the man pulled the trigger and the shot went into the ground.
A second shot was fired as the two continued to struggle, and it also missed the officer.
Meanwhile the second officer, who heard the struggle and the shots, ran to assist.
He and other officers who arrived to help were able to disarm the suspect who was subdued and handcuffed, police said Monday.
Kindred was taken by ambulance to Scott & White Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries to the face and upper body.
After treatment, he was taken to the Bell County Jail.
The first officer was bitten in the arm and suffered a broken finger in the struggle with the suspect and he and the second officer also suffered scratches and abrasions from thorns.
They were also treated at Scott & White.