A Fort Bliss soldier allegedly opened fire Monday morning on police officers responding to a call from the El Paso, Texas, residence where he was, according to police records.
Fort Bliss officials confirmed the arrested soldier was Spc. Alexander E. Jeffrey, 29, an unmanned aircraft systems operator assigned to the post. The Vacaville, California, native enlisted in March 2016 and arrived at the West Texas installation in early 2017.
Fort Bliss officials didn’t comment further, except stating that the “incident is under investigation.” Jeffrey could not be reached for comment.
Officers responded to the residence at 8951 Comet Street in El Paso after a 911 operator received a call from a woman who asked for help but then hung up, according to El Paso police
“Responding officers were met with a hail of gunfire through the front door of the residence as they attempted to make contact,” a police statement reads. “The officers began to retreat and take cover, however, a 1-year veteran officer was struck and suffered a bullet wound to the lower leg. He also sustained injuries to his forearm and ear."
Jeffery continued to fire rounds at the two officers, as well as a third off-duty officer, through the front window of the residence, El Paso police said. No return shots were fired by the responding officers because Jeffery was firing the weapon from inside a closed residence, said El Paso Police Detective Diane Mack.
“The officers did not have a visual of who was shooting at them, therefore, would not start firing indiscriminately into a residence,” Mack told Army Times. “Officers are trained to have an identified target when shooting, which was not the case in this incident.”
Eventually, Jeffery surrendered to officers after a “short time” and was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Jeffery was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on bonds totaling $125,000. The injured officer was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery.
Jeffrey’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with combat device, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.