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Hays County Grand Jury clears sheriff’s deputies in fatal shooting

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Hays County Criminal District Attorney Kelly Higgins announced today that a Hays County Grand Jury concluded its review of a Jan. 5, 2024, shooting incident in which Hays County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed 35-year-old Kenny Lee Estrada. The Grand Jury considered the evidence and determined that the shooting was justified under Texas law. No indictment was issued in the matter.

The Grand Jury received evidence that shortly before 8 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2024, deputies were dispatched to a residence on Hunter Creek Cove in Buda. Multiple 911 calls had been received reporting that Estrada was armed and was forcefully attempting to kick in the front door at a residence. Deputies received a description of Estrada prior to arriving at the location. The responding officers were equipped with in-car video and body-worn cameras that recorded the events that occurred upon their arrival. Surveillance video from multiple residences on the cul-de-sac also captured the events that occurred.

A woman who had dated Estrada was staying with family members at the home Estrada was attempting to enter. A doorbell camera at that home showed Estrada, armed with two knives, repeatedly kicking the door and attempting to force entry into the home while threatening to kill the occupants of the home. He also sent the woman threatening text messages shortly before deputies arrived.

Three deputies arrived at the location in marked police vehicles at approximately 8:12 a.m. and immediately encountered Estrada. As deputies exited their vehicles, Estrada began rapidly approaching the officers with a large knife in each hand. Deputies repeatedly instructed Estrada to stop and drop the weapons. Estrada ignored all commands and continued his rapid approach. Two of the three deputies fired their weapons and struck Estrada. He died on the scene.

The Texas Rangers conducted the investigation into the shooting with the assistance of detectives from the Hays County Sheriff’s Office.

Estrada had a lengthy arrest record that included assaultive offenses, multiple DWIs and drug charges. The former girlfriend, who had been the victim in at least one of his prior cases, advised that Estrada was sometimes violent when he was intoxicated.

“The Hays County Criminal District Attorney’s Office presented the results of the investigation to the Grand Jury. After hearing the evidence, the Grand Jury determined that the conduct of the officers was justified under the law and voted not to indict,” Higgins said. “This matter is now closed.”

Higgins added, “We would like to thank the Texas Rangers and the Sheriff’s Office for their prompt and thorough investigation.”

Hays County