Alexander Mendoza (Jail photo)
WACO (April 16, 2013)—Police confirmed Monday that a second man injured at the scene of a March officer involved shooting also was wounded by police gunfire.
Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Tommy Gene Smith was hit in the hand by a bullet that also struck his grandson, Alexander Howard Mendoza, 19, that was fired by an officer.
Police initially confirmed the older man was wounded during the incident but would not say he had been hit by gunfire.
Swanton said after medical and laboratory results were scrutinized, it was apparent that Smith had been hit by a police bullet.
Police at the time said they were sent at about 7:30 p.m. on March 18 to an address in the 2000 block of Lyle Avenue on a disturbance call.
When officers arrived, Swanton said, they found Mendoza and Smith struggling with a semi-automatic rifle and because the officers were threatened, at least one of them drew his weapon and fired at Mendoza.
Smith was struck in the hand and the bullet went on to strike Mendoza in the abdomen.
Both were treated at a local hospital and later released.
Mendoza remains in custody in the McLennan County Jail where he was ordered held on a $30,000 bond, charged with attempted capital murder.
Smith was not charged.
Smith’s family members had said since the day of the incident that he was wounded by police gunfire, but Swanton said until laboratory results were complete, investigators could not say exactly how he was injured.
“We have confirmed that he was struck by police gunfire and have informed him he may take whatever action he thinks is necessary,” Swanton said Tuesday.
Police identified the officers involved as Francisco Reyes and Timothy Bonovitch, both six-year veterans of the department.
Reyes fired the shot that injured Alexander Howard Mendoza, 19, police said.
Bonovitch did not fire, police said.
Mendoza's aunt, Jennifer Hartline, told News 10 her biggest concern surrounding the shooting is that police have yet to mention her dad, Mendoza's grandfather, was also shot.
Hartline went on to say that the rifle Mendoza had was unloaded and never pointed at police.
The officers were assigned to administrative duty until the shooting investigation is completed.