HOUSTON – Three Harris County deputy constables responded to help a suicidal man and they were shot, allegedly by the man they were attempting to help. Now that man has been indicted and faces a trial that could result in a long prison sentence. The shooting happened in April 2018.
Wesley Smith, 32, is charged with four counts of aggravated assault against a peace officer. The charge is a first-degree felony and carries a penalty of five to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constables were dispatched to perform a welfare check on Smith. Dispatchers told deputies that the was suicidal and threatening to kill himself.
Upon arrival, the team knocked on the door but was unable to establish communication with Smith. Several minutes passed before Smith stepped outside with a shotgun—initiating gunfire with the deputies; Deputy Christopher Gaines suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
“This case is a reminder of how dangerous our officers’ jobs truly are,” Harris County District Attorney’s Office First Assistant Tom Berg said. “Wesley Smith opened fire on the very officers who had been called to help him. Now a Harris County jury must determine the consequences of his turning his weapon on them.”
The same grand jury also considered, from a civil rights angle, the conduct of the deputy constables- concluding that no probable cause existed to charge them for what occurred while conducting their duties.