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Fired Texas Cop in Fatal Shooting of Jordan Edwards Faces Murder Charge

Former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver, turned himself in on an arrest warrant for murder in the shooting death of Jordan Edwards, 15.
Image: Officer Roy Oliver
Officer Roy Oliver, who was fired for shooting Jordan Edwards in Balch Springs, Texas.via KXAS

A fired Texas police officer turned himself in Friday after an arrest warrant for murder was issued against him following the shooting death of a 15-year-old boy in Balch Springs last weekend, authorities said.

Former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver, 37, turned himself into the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, a spokesman for the Dallas County Sheriff's Department said Friday evening.

Oliver allegedly fired into a car full of teenagers leaving a party on Saturday night. Jordan Edwards, 15, was shot in the head and later died. Oliver was fired by the police department on Tuesday.

Earlier Friday the Dallas County Sheriff's Department said it filed an arrest warrant for murder against Oliver "due to evidence that suggested Mr. Oliver intended to cause serious bodily injury and commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that caused the death of an individual."

Police initially said the vehicle was "backing down the street towards the officers in an aggressive manner" and one officer opened fire.

Police Chief Jonathon Haber recanted that account Monday after viewing officer body camera video that authorities said showed that the vehicle was driving away from the officers. Haber said in the hurry to get a statement out he misspoke.

According to the arrest warrant obtained by the Dallas Morning News and shared with NBC News, Oliver and another officer were dispatched to a home at around 11 p.m. Saturday local time (midnight ET) on a report of underage intoxicated people walking around.

Jordan Edwards is seen in this handout photo from the Mesquite Independent School District
Jordan Edwards is seen in this handout photo from the Mesquite Independent School DistrictMesquite Independent School District

They were investigating the party when sounds resembling gunfire were heard outside, officers went outside to investigate and spotted several people running away from an intersection, according to the arrest warrant.

The other officer went to the scene of the sounds and Oliver went to his squad car and retrieved a his patrol rifle and went to join the other officer, according to the warrant.

The other officer encountered a black Chevy Impala reversing slowly toward a cross street at intersection, the driver ignored orders to stop and then drove forward, and the officer "punched" a rear passenger door window with his firearm causing the window to break, according to the warrant.

Oliver allegedly opened fire with the rifle, according to the warrant. The car later stopped and police found Edwards in the front passenger seat with a gunshot wound to the head.

Oliver was fired on Tuesday and the department said he "violated several departmental policies." Police records show Oliver was once suspended for anger related problems. Oliver was hired by the police department in 2011.

Dallas County sheriff's investigators use a metal detector at the intersection near where Jordan Edwards was killed by a police officer in Balch Springs, Texas, Wednesday, May 3, 2017.LM Otero / AP

"The investigation into the death of Jordan Edwards will continue and does not conclude with the arrest of Roy Oliver," Dallas County sheriff's department spokesperson Melinda Urbina said in the statement.

An attorney who represents the Edwards family, Lee Merritt, said after being notified by the district attorney of the murder charge the family is "relieved the justice system is working."

"Although we realize that there remain significant obstacles ahead on the road to justice, this action brings hope that the justice system will bend against the overwhelming weight of our frustration," the family said in a statement issued later Friday.

Oliver was booked in the Parker County Jail and was released on a $300,000 surety bond, according to Parker County Jail records.

The Balch Springs Police Department said in a statement Friday evening that it was not notified ahead of time that an arrest warrant would be issued.

"Since the beginning of this tragic event, the Balch Springs Police Department has supported an independent criminal investigation so that complete transparency was provided to the public," the department said in the statement.

Balch Springs is a southeastern Dallas suburb of around 23,700.