Suspect in Wednesday bingo hall shooting was convicted bank robber

Published: Aug. 3, 2016 at 1:35 PM CDT
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The identities of both the security officer and the man killed Wednesday outside a Waco bingo hall have been released.

Pro Security Group identified the officer as Jimmy Parker, who was shot once in the hand during a struggle with an assailant who was trying to take the officer’s weapon, a news release from the group said.

The suspect killed in the confrontation has been identified as Juan Marcus Howard, 35, of Waco.

Howard was well known to law enforcement having been convicted of the robbery of a Waco Genco credit union in 2001 in federal court for which he was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison.

He then was found in violation of his parole in April 2014 and was sent back to federal prison for 12 more months, federal court records show.

It is believed at this point in the investigation that when Howard attacked the security officer a struggle ensued over the officer’s weapon, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

During that struggle the officer received a gunshot wound to the left hand, regained control of the weapon and shot the suspect in the upper torso.

The security company release said Parker is in stable condition but most of the bones in his injured hand were shattered by the gunshot and he’ll likely be off work for some time while he is recovering.

Parker shot the attacker during the struggle and that man died at the scene from his injuries.

Parker was rushed by ambulance to a Waco hospital and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace, Pete Peterson.

Police, fire and EMS units were sent at about 1 p.m. Wednesday to Buckeye Bingo, at North 25th Street and Cole Avenue, after a caller reported someone had been shot.

Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said the security officer was approached by a masked man who also was wearing gloves and all black attire. At some point during the confrontation, both men were shot.

A witness told News 10 that a security officer was shot in the hand during an attempted robbery but police have not yet confirmed that.

Another witness, a woman who works at the bingo hall, told News 10 by telephone she was inside when the incident happened.

She said employees saw a man in the parking lot wearing a mask and a short time later they saw a fight between the security officer and the masked man.

The masked man was able to wrestle the officer's gun from him and shoot the officer in the hand.

Then the officer retrieved his firearm and shot the suspect twice, the woman said.

There were patrons inside the hall playing bingo when the robbery happened and all were told to hide in the restrooms, the woman said.

All of the employees still were inside the bingo hall as late as 1:45 p.m. waiting to be interviewed by investigators, the witness said.