By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON - A Bell County grand jury Wednesday returned a murder indictment against a Fort Hood soldier accused of fatally shooting another soldier in April.

Police believe 27-year-old Michael Fitzgerald Reese killed Spc. Justin Sheldon Richardson, 25, following an argument outside the Denny's restaurant in Killeen.

Bell County Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said police found Richardson shot in the lower back and upper left side of his torso in the early morning hours of April 2.

Bledsoe said it was unclear whether both gunshot wounds were to Richardson's back. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed.

Police responded to a report of a shooting at 3 a.m. April 2 at the Denny's restaurant in the 1100 block of South Fort Hood Street. When officers arrived, they found several people attempting to help Richardson, who was lying on the ground.

Richardson died at the scene, according to an arrest affidavit.

Through witness statements, police learned Reese had been arguing with his on-again, off-again girlfriend for an extended period prior to the shooting.

Reese, Richardson, the woman and a group of friends had been to a club earlier that night, the affidavit states. Reese and the woman had been fighting at the club, Bledsoe said.

Reese did not accompany Richardson and the woman when they went to the restaurant. However, he began to call the woman.

While they were still at the restaurant, Reese showed up and told the woman he wanted to speak to her outside. She said she did not want to, and Reese became angry and aggressive, the affidavit states.

Richardson attempted to calm Reese and escorted him outside the restaurant.

At that point, several witnesses heard two gunshots. Another member of Richardson's party at the restaurant told police he was outside when the shooting happened.

He told police he saw Reese pull a handgun from his clothing and fire two shots at Richardson.

Several witnesses inside and outside the restaurant told police they saw a man wearing a pink shirt flee from the scene. They later identified the man as Reese, the affidavit states. Reese turned himself in the following day.

If convicted of murder, a first-degree felony, Reese could face up to 99 years in prison. Reese remains in Bell County Jail on $1 million bond.

According to reports from the Associated Press, Reese served in Iraq and is from Bronx, N.Y.

Contact Philip Jankowski at or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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