Jordan Edwards with his father, Odell Edwards.
The white former police officer who repeatedly fired a rifle into a moving car last week in a Dallas suburb, killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, has been arrested for murder.
Officials issued an arrest warrant for former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver on Friday. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office called for Oliver's arrest "for the crime of murder" and said that he "intended to cause serious bodily injury and commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that caused the death."
Oliver turned himself in Friday evening at the Parker County Jail in Weatherford, about 95 miles west of Dallas. He was later released on $300,000 bond.
In a statement, Lee Merritt — an attorney representing Edwards' family — said that the warrant, while not taking away the pain caused by the shooting, "has brought a bit of reprieve in a time of intense mourning."
Former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver
"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," Merritt said.
Oliver shot Edwards — a freshman at Mesquite High School, outside of Dallas — on April 29 as he was leaving a house party in Balch Springs.
Police say the shooting happened after officers responded to reports of several drunk, underage "kids" walking around a neighborhood at night. When officers arrived, police said they heard gun shots and witnessed Edwards leaving the party in a car with other teenagers. Oliver then fired several rounds from a rifle at the vehicle, fatally striking Edwards in a passenger seat.
Jordan's 16-year-old stepbrother, Vidal Allen, was driving the vehicle during the shooting and noticed Jordan's head was "smoking," Merritt said, and then flagged police to help.
Initially, police claimed that the vehicle had been backing up toward officers in "an aggressive manner," but later said the officers' account of what happened was inaccurate and the car had actually been driving away. Police came to that conclusion after reviewing dashcam footage.
Investigators near the spot where Jordan Edwards was killed.
Lm Otero / AP
Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber announced Tuesday that Oliver had been fired. Haber said Oliver violated several department policies during the incident, though he did not say which ones.
"You have my assurances my department will continue to be responsive, transparent, and accountable," Haber added.
Edwards was an honor student and athlete and was "very well liked by his teachers, coaches, and fellow students," the Mesquite Independent School District said in a statement.
Accompanied by Edwards' parents at a news conference Monday, Merritt said, "We are declaring war on bad policing."
"This has happened far too often," he said. "We are tired of making the same rhetorical demands, and having the same hashtags."
In a statement Friday, the Balch Springs Police Department said that it did not receive prior notification from the Dallas County Sheriff's Department about the warrant for Oliver's arrest, and that it had learned of it through news reports.
"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 statement read. "At this time, the Balch Springs Police Department has not been contacted by either the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office or the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office with information pertaining to the warrant of arrest for Roy Oliver."
According to the sheriff's statement Friday, the investigation into the shooting is ongoing and "does not conclude with the arrest of Roy Oliver."