HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A Hays County corrections officer was indicted in a deadly shooting of an inmate at a Kyle hospital in December.
According to a press release from the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, a Hays County grand jury indicted the officer involved in the shooting of Joshua Wright, who was being held pre-trial at the time of the shooting. Wright was accused of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The officer was identified by Hays County District Attorney Kelly Higgins as Isaiah Garcia, 27. Garcia had worked as a corrections officer for HCSO since 2018. He was on duty guarding Wright when the shooting happened.
Garcia was indicted on a deadly conduct charge. He was booked into the Comal County Jail Thursday and released the same day.
HCSO previously said Wright tried to escape while receiving medical treatment at Seton Hospital in Kyle and assaulted Garcia, then ran on foot through the emergency room. Attorneys for Wright’s family noted his ankles were shackled at the time.
Garcia shot Wright, and medical staff began life-saving measures, but he died, HCSO said.
Garcia was placed on administrative leave after the shooting.
“The family of Joshua Wright is relieved by news of this indictment, as it gets us one step closer to ensuring that former officer Garcia will be held accountable for his deadly actions,” the attorneys for Wright’s family said in a statement. “It is crucial that when officers act violently and against protocol, that they and the departments that train them are held responsible for their actions to ensure that these killings stop happening. We will continue to support the Wright family through the legal process and lift them up in prayer as we fight for justice for Joshua.”
One day after the shooting, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra issued a statement, demanding clarity and body cam video be released.
Deadly conduct is charged in this case as a third-degree felony offense, with a possible punishment, if convicted, of two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, according to a release from the district attorney’s office.
Garcia surrendered to authorities and was released on a $20,000 bond, according to DA Higgins. Higgins also said video evidence will not be released until the pending case is resolved, but a grand jury did get the opportunity to view the footage.
The Texas Rangers conducted the investigation into the shooting. According to the district attorney’s office, the results of that investigation, including the video captured by Garcia’s body-worn camera, were presented to the grand jury.
Garcia is a member of CLEAT, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, which is the largest police officers’ union in the state and provides legal services to officers in addition to lobbying for legislation led by executive director Charley Wilkison.
CLEAT said it “remains committed to our honorable and fiduciary duty to represent our members.” The organization said it could not comment further because it is a pending criminal case.
According to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records, Garcia took a course in “Use of Force in Corrections” in January of this year. He also took courses on less-lethal weapons training and a jail firearms course.