Home / National News / Texas cop who fatally shot 15-year-old identified by police


(DALLAS) — The former police officer who fatally shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards in a Dallas suburb on Saturday has been identified as Roy Oliver.

Balch Springs Police Department Chief Jonathan Haber released the officer’s identity at a press conference Tuesday night while announcing that Oliver had been fired from his post. Oliver had been a a member of the department for nearly six years.

Oliver was one of two officers who responded to a 911 call about “several underage intoxicated juveniles” at a residence in Balch Springs in Dallas County, Texas, on Saturday around 11 p.m. local time, according to police.

Upon arriving, the responding officers discovered a large house party at the location. While trying to locate the owners of the house, the officers heard “multiple gunshots” coming from outside which caused a “chaotic scene” with people fleeing the area. The officers exited the residence to investigate the gunshots and confronted a vehicle backing down the street, police said.

Police initially said that the vehicle backed up in the direction of the responding officers “in an aggressive manner” despite multiple verbal commands. Oliver then opened fire and struck Edwards, a high school freshman who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police later admitted, however, that they had misspoken in recounting what occurred and that it appeared as though the vehicle Edwards was in was driving away from the officers when shots were fired, based on footage from police body cameras.

“I unintentionally, incorrectly said the vehicle was backing down the road,” Haber said at a press conference Monday. “According to the video, the vehicle was moving forward as the officer approached.”

Haber added, “After reviewing the video, I don’t believe that [the shooting] met our core values.”

The video footage will not be released to the public, Haber said.

According to a press release issued Tuesday night, the Balch Springs Police Department said it has “determined” that Oliver “violated several departmental policies.” The department said it could not elaborate on which policies were violated since Oliver can appeal his termination.

Oliver was initially removed from duty and placed on leave. He has not been involved in any similar incidents, according to Haber.

The announcement of the officer’s dismissal was welcomed by the Edwards family.

“We are grateful the decision has been made to terminate the office responsible for Jordan’s murder,” the family said in a statement Tuesday night. “Over the past 24 hours Chief Haber has made commendable strides toward justice. However, there remains a long road ahead.”

The family said they “anxiously await” the officer’s “arrest for the crime of murder.”

The Dallas County Medical Examiner has ruled Edwards’ death a homicide. The cause of death was listed as a rifle wound to the head, according to ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the fatal shooting, while the Balch Springs Police Department is conducting an internal investigation of its own.

Lee Merritt, the attorney representing the Edwards family, confirmed to ABC News on Monday that a rifle was used.

Citing the ongoing investigation, Haber would not answer reporters’ questions at the press conference Monday. The police chief vowed to be “transparent” and “accountable” in the investigation.

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