BELTON — A Bell County grand jury Wednesday cleared Killeen police officers in the 2013 shooting death of Dustin Billy Cole. The incident also left Killeen police officer Robert “Bobby” Hornsby dead.
Cole, a Fort Hood soldier, was killed in a gunbattle with Killeen police July 14 at the Grandon Manor apartment complex in the 1600 block of Grandon Drive.
Cole was a 24-year-old private assigned to the 584th Mobility Augmentation Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, at Fort Hood. Cole, who had been deployed to Afghanistan twice, returned from his most recent deployment in February 2013.
According to police, the shootout began after residents notified authorities that Cole threatened several people near a pool in the complex.
Cole fired one shot at officers, then appeared to be about to surrender. Instead, Cole armed himself with the assault rifle and began opening fire.
Cole shot and killed Hornsby and wounded officer Juan E. Obregon Jr. before he was killed by police.
The grand jury found the Killeen police officers’ actions were justified, and it voted to take no further action in the case, according to a statement from the Killeen Police Department issued Wednesday afternoon
Hornsby’s widow, Kimberly Hornsby, said she was thankful for the grand jury’s decision.
“We obviously agree,” she said. “We are thankful that the officers can rest easy knowing that their actions were justified.”
The department did not name the officers who shot Cole in the statement and said there would be “no further comment” on the case.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.