A Texas police officer has been arrested on a murder charge after he fatally shot the driver of a truck reported stolen from a Dallas suburb earlier in June.
Farmers Branch Officer Michael Dunn turned himself in Wednesday night after a grand jury indicted him for murder in the killing of 35-year-old Juan Moreno, officials said Thursday.
A Dallas County grand jury returned the indictment against Dunn, 43, two weeks after he opened fire on the white pickup Moreno was driving in northwest Dallas.
Investigators have said the truck was reported stolen from the city of Irving and that officers spotted it in suburban Farmers Branch. Dunn followed the vehicle over the Dallas city line to a shopping center and opened fire as Moreno was pulling out of the parking lot, police said. Surveillance video appears to show Dunn firing into the driver's side of the pickup as it makes a sweeping turn around his police SUV.
Farmers Branch Police Chief David Hale reacts to the murder indictment against Ofc. Michael Dunn in the shooting death of Juan Moreno Jr. Hear from Chief Hale this afternoon on @KRLD. pic.twitter.com/GeyDcmyNVq
— Andrew M. Greenstein (@KRLDAndrewG) June 27, 2019
Carlos Quintanilla, who is acting as a spokesman for the Moreno family, commended the swift indictment.
"This sends a message that officers do not have the right to kill someone, that officers have to comply with the rule of law," said Quintanilla.
Dunn, who is on administrative leave, could not be immediately reached for comment. Farmers Branch police declined to identify his attorney and a spokeswoman for the Dallas County District Attorney's office said she does not know who represents the officer. His indictment is set to be formally released Friday.
Dunn surrendered to police in Seagoville around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and was released from the city jail about an hour later on a $150,000 bond, Seagoville Capt. Steve Davis said.
Farmers Branch Police Chief David Hale said "our hearts go out" to Moreno's family and that Dunn's life "has been forever changed as well."
The internal investigation of Dunn's actions is ongoing and the Farmers Branch department is awaiting information from Dallas police, who conducted the criminal investigation of the shooting, Hale said in a statement.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot said the indictment demonstrates that "the system can work quickly, fairly, and efficiently."