Six Waco Police Officers were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing after an officer-involved shooting April 10 at the intersection of North Valley Mills and Waco Drive near the Vegas Chinese Buffet in Waco.
The Texas Rangers and the Waco Police Department's Special Crimes Unit recently completed a joint criminal investigation and forwarded their findings to the McLennan County District Attorney's Office, which brought the investigation before a McLennan County grand jury. The grand jury agreed with investigators and found no evidence to charge the six officers.
"The actions of a dangerous suspect caused our officers to have to use force to protect themselves and the public in this case," Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt said. "I am grateful to the diligent work in the co-investigation by the Special Crimes Unit and the Texas Rangers. I am also appreciative of the work by the Grand Jury and the District Attorney's Office in this matter. These officers can now get back to protecting the Waco community."
The officer-involved shooting stemmed from an aggravated robbery at The Corner Stop located at 2524 Colonial Ave in Waco. Investigators said Christopher Antwon Blackwell entered the business with a shotgun, demanded money from a female clerk and then drove away in a Chevy SUV.
Police units pursued Blackwell's vehicle until he wrecked the SUV into a light pole in front of the Vegas Chinese Buffet. He refused to exit the vehicle and eventually picked up a shotgun, pointed it at officers and told them they were going to die, police said. The officers defended themselves by firing shots at him, according to Waco Police.
SWAT Officers used a less lethal round to break the SUV's back window, so they could see better inside. They ultimately used a distraction device and pepper-spray to force Blackwell out of the vehicle, according to investigators. After a brief struggle, officers arrested him.
Blackwell was treated at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Hospital for gunshot wounds to his lower left leg and left buttock. He was later released and taken to the McLennan County Jail, where he is currently in custody. He is charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated assault of a peace officer, evading arrest and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to jail records.