A Killeen police officer who fired a weapon during a no-knock police raid that resulted in the death of the suspect they were trying to arrest has been charged with tampering with evidence in the case.
A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Anthony Custance — who was a member of Killeen Police Department’s Tactical Response Unit when the raid happened — on the charge after a Texas Rangers investigation revealed a rifle was inappropriately fired during the Feb. 27 raid.
James Reed was killed during the 6 a.m. no-knock warrant at 215 W. Hallmark Ave.
“The investigation revealed that projectiles were fired into the back of the residence. While these rounds did not result in any injuries, they were not in compliance with the planned operation,” according to a KPD news release issued Thursday.
Police said Reed was killed in an armed confrontation with Killeen police officers.
Per standard department protocol, the Texas Rangers were requested to conduct a thorough investigation.
The investigation found Custance was responsible for firing the rounds into the back of the residence “despite deceptive conduct and attempts to interfere with the progress of the investigation, including tampering with his rifle and ammunition,” according to KPD.
The results of the Rangers’ investigation were forwarded to the Bell County District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution of the former Killeen police officer, according to KPD. “The Killeen Police Department began an internal investigation into Custance’s actions. Custance resigned during the course of these investigations.”
While Reed’s family has said KPD is responsible for his death, it appears no other charges are coming.
“No further investigation or action will be made by the grand jury in connection with the execution of the search warrant,” according to the KPD release.
Custance turned himself into the Bell County Jail Thursday and was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Cliff Coleman who set his bond at $100,000.
“Killeen Police Department has a very clear code of ethics, and this officer’s actions during and after the incident were unacceptable,” said KPD Chief Charles Kimble. “Public trust is paramount to law enforcement, and unethical behavior within the department will not be tolerated.”
Custance joined KPD in 2014, and told a Herald reporter during a 2015 ride-along that he is a former Marine who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.