Arlington Officer Who Shot O'Shae Terry Indicted on Charge of Criminally Negligent Homicide

Officer Bau Tran fatally shot Terry on Sept. 1, 2018

The Arlington police officer who fatally shot a man attempting to drive away from a traffic stop in September 2018 has been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of criminally negligent homicide, the Tarrant County District Attorney's office says.

Officer Bau Tran shot O'Shae Terry on Sept. 1, 2018 after Tran responded to a call for backup when the officer who made the stop smelled marijuana, according to Arlington police.

Body camera footage released Sept. 6 showed Terry following officers' instructions -- turning off the car and rolling down the windows. Officer Tran can be seen on video saying, "If you don't have anymore inside the vehicle, y'all shouldn't be worried about it. We just have to do what we have to do. So that's basically it."

After Tran finished speaking, either Terry or the man in the passenger seat starts to roll up the passenger side window. Tran says, "Stop," steps onto the SUV's running board and grabs the top of the partially-rolled up window, as Terry starts to drive away.

At that point, the video shows Tran fire multiple shots into the vehicle, striking Terry. Terry, 24, later died at Medical City Arlington, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

"No family, no mother or father should have to go through anything like this," said Terry's mother Sherley Woods.

Terry's best friend Terrence Harmon was sitting in the passenger's seat.

"I think about him every day, every day, not a day goes by where I don’t think about him," Harmon said. "But as I'm going, I'm learning to live with it."

The family's attorneys think Harmon's testimony was crucial in swaying the grand jury to indict.

"We have someone who was sitting in the vehicle who was able to say exactly what happened at the time that this officer decided to use force," said attorney Daryl Washington.  

Officer Tran's attorney, meanwhile, thinks police officers are being judged more harshly today because these cases are politically charged.

"Obviously we're disappointed that he was indicted," said attorney Randy Moore. "Things happened pretty quickly and once the driver made the decision to roll up the window and drive away, then that limited the options that the officer had."

Arlington police said after the shooting, they opened a criminal and administrative investigation into the incident, which they said they do with "any major incident that results in serious bodily injury or death."

Before the indictment, Tran was serving in "restricted duty capacity," but he is now on leave until the department's administrative investigation ends, Arlington police said.

Arlington police said it views the grand jury's decision as an additional fact to consider in its own investigation of the shooting.

"I need some justice for my son to be able to get some peace through this," Terry's mother Sherley Woods said in October. "I could go to any kind of counseling, whatever. I've got to have this clarification and this peace with this officer to get past this."

Tran bonded out Wednesday, and the case against him will be assigned to the Tarrant County Criminal District Court. He's due in court May 17.

NBC5's Alice Barr contributed to this report.

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