FORT WORTH (CN) — A Texas grand jury indicted a former police officer with criminally negligent homicide Wednesday for shooting at a dog during a welfare check and instead killing a woman nearby.
Ravi Singh, 27, faces up to two years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted. He resigned from the Arlington Police Department in November of 2019, three months after he shot and killed Margarita “Maggie” Brooks, 30.
Singh was responding to reports of a person lying on the grass on Aug. 1 near a shopping center at North Collins Street and Cantor Drive.
In bodycam footage that has since gone viral, Singh is shown walking down an alley during daylight and asking a seated Brooks if she is all right.
An unleashed dog begins running at Singh, who steps backward and unholsters his gun while Brooks is heard calling out “down” at the dog. Singh fires three times at the dog and Brooks is immediately heard screaming “what the fuck.”
“Oh my God,” Brooks screamed. “The police shot me.”
She later died from a gunshot wound to the upper torso, while her dog was grazed by a bullet.
Brooks was the daughter of an Arlington Fire Department captain. Singh is currently not being held in custody and a bond amount has not been determined, according to Tarrant County Jail records.
Under Texas criminal law, criminally negligent homicide is the least serious charge of the state’s four criminal homicide offenses — the other three being manslaughter, murder and capital murder.
Brooks’ family expressed support for the indictment, urging police to “not be so quick to use their deadly weapon” in situations that do not require the use of force.
“Our hope is not only that this officer is held responsible for Maggie’s death, but that the Arlington Police Department is also held accountable for its lack of training and procedures in responding to welfare checks,” the family said in a statement.
Arlington police did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon. Former Police Chief Will Johnson said after the shooting that Brooks “was never the intended target” for Singh’s use of force.
“But with that said, we know as police officers that we are accountable for our actions and that our actions are subject to thorough review and analysis,” he said at a press conference on Aug. 2, 2019.