A Hewitt police officer who exchanged gunfire with a suspect during a February bank robbery will not face criminal charges, but the suspect will, a McLennan County grand jury decided Wednesday.
The grand jury no-billed Clint Brandon, the first officer to respond to the bank robbery at PointWest Bank, 420 Hewitt Drive, on Feb. 5.
Police have said the suspect, Dallas Scott Bohanan, 25, of Waco, shot at Brandon when the officer tried to stop him from leaving the parking lot, and Brandon returned fire. Neither man was injured in the initial exchange, but Bohanan later fired a shotgun at Brandon, wounding the officer’s arm, police said.
As a matter of routine procedure, cases in which officers discharge their weapons are reviewed by a grand jury. The Texas Rangers investigated the incident.
“I fully expected (the grand jury) to clear him based on the evidence that I observed out there, but we use the Texas Rangers to conduct an investigation,” Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said. “I had confidence in the fact that (Brandon) was correct in his decision-making, acted lawfully and fully within the scope of his duties.”
Last week, Bohanan pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of bank robbery using a deadly weapon and three counts of discharging a firearm during the commission of a violent felony for robberies of PointWest in Hewitt and of Santa Fe Community Credit Union in Temple in 2016. He was also indicted in a 2016 robbery of Chase Bank, 320 N. New Road in Waco, but federal prosecutors agreed to waive that count as part of the plea agreement.
He will be sentenced on the federal charges in September and likely faces up to 55 years in prison.
As Bohanan left the bank in Hewitt, Brandon ordered him to show his hands.
Bohanan pulled out a firearm and fired at Brandon, Devlin has said. Brandon took cover and returned fire before Bohanan was able to flee the parking lot onto Hewitt Drive.
Brandon followed Bohanan, who then stopped his car and stepped into the roadway, police said. Surveillance video from a nearby business captured the roadway encounter, showing Bohanan shooting a shotgun directly at Brandon, injuring him with shotgun pellets in the arm.
Commanding officers told Brandon to stop chasing Bohanan and seek first aid as others continued the chase. Bohanan was later captured in a Waco neighborhood, where he crashed his pickup truck near the intersection of Garden and Wingate drives, police said.
“I am extremely proud of (Brandon),” Devlin said. “He is a great example of what we expect from our officers, not only because of this incident, but because of the character he has and the work he puts in, prior to this incident and continuing after.”
The grand jury also indicted Bohanan on Wednesday on state charges of first-degree felony aggravated assault of a public servant and third-degree felony evading detention.
Bohanan remains in custody at the Jack Harwell Detention Center, authorities said.