Fort Worth, Texas resident Russell King will not be criminally charged after shooting a Texas State Trooper in April. During an interview with NBC-DFW, King explained that an off-duty police officer became enraged during an incident on the road and then followed him and his wife to their home. In response, King felt the need to protect himself, so he fired at the officer.
"Two trucks came flying by us at a high rate of speed," King said.
At this point, he says one of the trucks exited the highway while the other pulled right ahead of him and his wife, Myra.
"I visibly see him look in his mirror, shake his head like this, and that's when he brake-checked me. It was very deliberate," King continued.
At this point, King was forced to slam on his brakes as well. In fear for his and his wife's safety, he attempted to veer away into a Walmart parking lot, but he claims that the other driver continued to follow him. At one point, King did notice lights in the other vehicle, but he said that they didn't look official.
"They didn't seem to be very official. I had never seen a police vehicle that was a gray Chevrolet truck,” he told NBC-DFW.
After some time, King and his wife lost the other driver and managed to get home safely. From there, King called the authorities, but the other driver managed to find their home as well. As he approached the house, King claims the other driver pulled out what appeared to be a gun.
"I've never been so scared in my life. I really felt as if he were there to harm my wife and I,” King recalled.
"I yelled, ‘Please go away. We called 911.’"
According to NBC-DFW, a camera recording captured the off-duty police officer approaching the door and announcing himself as a police officer. However, King claims he never heard the officer announce himself, so he fired a shot through the door. The off-duty officer was hit in the shoulder and abruptly ran away. Afterward, other officers arrived, handcuffed the couple and put them in a squad car.
"He told me, 'You've shot a state trooper.' My response was, 'How?'" King explained.
"There was no identification whatsoever. There was no vest. There was no badge. Just a brown shirt and jeans."
Four months after the ordeal, a grand jury heard King's case and declined to charge him with a single crime.
"I wish it never would have happened,” he said.
As news of King's story made the rounds on social media, many readers felt that he would have been charged if he was not white.
Others drew comparisons between King's case and the death of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was killed in 2020 after police officers entered her home in connection to an investigation of a man who had already been arrested. Officers say they announced themselves before entering, but like King, Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, did not hear them. Much like King, Walker fired a warning shot, but officers did not retreat. Instead, they fired several shots and killed Taylor in the process. Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder, but he was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing nearly a full year later. In comparison, King was cleared in less than six months.