Indictment: Former officer tried to hide missing rounds from magazine after deadly shooting

Bell County Jail Photo
Bell County Jail Photo(KWTX)
Published: Jun. 6, 2019 at 4:28 PM CDT
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The details from the indictment against a former Killeen police officer charged with tampering with evidence in a deadly officer-involved shooting revealed Friday the evidence the grand jury saw when making their decision.

The court document states, during the course of the investigation Anthony Custance intentionally or knowingly concealed a rifle magazine with missing rounds with the intent to impair its availability.

The indictment also states Custance handed over a 30 capacity rifle magazine with 28 rounds in it, knowing that it was false and with the intent to affect the course of the investigation.

Custance was indicted Wednesday in connection to a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred while police were serving a no-knock warrant.

After the shooting, the Texas Rangers began investigating the incident.

On February 27, 2019, the Killeen Police Department served a search warrant at 215 West Hallmark Avenue and during this operation, James Reed was killed.

According to the Rangers investigation, it revealed the bullets were fired into the back of the home and though they did not hit anyone, the actions were not in compliance with the planned operation.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety on Friday countered Killeen police's statement that the investigation had concluded and said while a portion of the evidence has been presented to the grand jury, their investigation remains open and investigators are still collecting evidence in the case.

The investigation also revealed it was Anthony Custance, who was a member of the Killeen Police Department Tactical Response Unit, as the person who fired the shots.

He resigned from the department after the shooting.

James Scott Reed's family reacted Thursday to the latest developments.

"It just concluded what we already knew anyway,” Jumeka Reed, James' sister, said. “Y'all killed him for no reason."

She also said her family was excited to hear news of the indictment.

"My whole family, we are excited, praying, crying, smiling, hugging because this is what we wanted so much. We just had a feeling that it would be dragged out and take so long and nothing would be done but seeing something done is the best feeling in the world," Jumeka Reed said.

Investigators were able to determine Custance was the person despite “deceptive conduct and attempts to interfere with the progress of the investigation, including tampering with his rifle and ammunition,” the department said in a news release.

“Killeen Police Department has a very clear code of ethics, and this officer’s actions during and after the incident were unacceptable,” said Chief Charles Kimble in a news release. “Public trust is paramount to law enforcement, and unethical behavior within the department will not be tolerated.”

The information was then forwarded to the Bell County District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.

The family doesn't deny James Scott Reed's involvement in drugs -- which is what Killeen police initially said the warrant was for.

"Why wait until he go and lie down and kick his door in? It's only leaving him to react a certain way and you to react in a certain way and he didn't even react in the way they thought he was going to react," said Larry Reed, James' brother.

They are also calling for no-knock warrants to end.

"At the end of the day he shouldn't have lost his life, a no-knock warrant shouldn't have been issued," Larry Reed said.

"I do want all officers involved to be prosecuted, not just tampering with evidence, that's nothing. We need murder charges, manslaughter; we need something that's going to stick," Larry Reed said.

Custance turned himself in Thursday and was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Cliff Coleman who set his bond at $100,000.