Midland Police Chief Speaks About Grand Jury's Decision to "No-Bill" Officer

Midland Police Chief Speaks About Grand Jury's Decision to "No-Bill" Officer

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Just over a month after a deadly shooting at La Bodega restaurant, a grand jury has cleared a Midland Police detective who shot and killed the armed suspect.

Midland Police Chief Price Robinson is speaking out about the grand jury's decision.

"You kinda don't expect that to happen, you hear about it other places," the chief said.

On June 27, a gunman walked into the kitchen of La Bodega restaurant demanding money. When employees didn't move fast enough, 35-year-old Nyocomus Garnett fired shots.

"You hear about similar instances across the nation that turn out very tragic and thankfully this did not," Robinson said.

That's because Detective James Cox bravely stepped in.

On Wednesday, a grand jury in the 441st District Court found there was no wrong doing when Cox shot and killed the armed suspect. An MPD internal review made the same conclusion.

"That review board found that Detective Cox was in compliance with all state and federal laws, with our general orders," Robinson said.

The detective was eating with his family when those first shots rang out.

Cox confronted Garnett after the suspect left the kitchen and walked into the restaurant with his gun. The detective fired his weapon when Garnett pointed it at him.

"He kept a traumatic event from being worse, the crowded restaurants, the employees, just the circumstances," Robinson said. "I hate to think of what could've happened."

Robinson said he called Cox after the grand jury handed down their decision.

"You could sense that sigh of relief," he said.

The seven-year veteran received an overwhelming amount of public support in the days after the shooting.

"I imagine if you said, 'hey, you're a hero,' he'll probably say, 'no I'm really not, I'm just doing what I'm supposed to do as a police officer and reacting as I'm trained.' I mean he's a very humble guy," Robinson said.

Despite what happened at La Bodega, the chief wants the community to feel safe no matter where they are. He said his force of men and women are ready to respond whether they're in uniform or not.

"Probably 99.9% of the personnel here, they'll have a gun with them all the time," the chief said.

Detective Cox has returned to duty.