A 28-year-old man from Killeen, Texas, has been charged with the murder of a Fort Hood soldier, local police said Thursday afternoon.
Brandon Michael Olivares is accused of shooting 27-year-old Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans inside a 2016 Jeep Renegade in mid-May.
Both men were traveling together in Rosecrans’ Jeep before Olivares allegedly shot the soldier, police said. Rosecrans was then removed from the vehicle and left near the roadway at the 2100 block of Fuller Lane in Harker Heights, about 13 miles from Fort Hood, they said.
Rosecrans’ body was ultimately found by authorities at roughly 10 a.m. May 18.
Olivares was already booked into the Bell County Jail for possession of a firearm by a felon when Harker Heights police officers served the warrant Wednesday. Olivares had been in custody since June 5, according to county records.
Olivares was also arraigned on Wednesday by Justice of the Peace Cliff Coleman. His bond was set at $1 million, in addition to another $100,000 bond already set for him, county records show.
The Harker Heights Fire Department is investigating the vehicle fire that consumed Rosecrans’ Jeep, police said. The Jeep was found on May 18, as well, roughly 5 miles from where his body was located.
A motive for the killing of Rosecrans was not disclosed by authorities Thursday.
During a visit to Fort Hood this week, Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy acknowledged the high rates of violent crime, including murder, near the post.
“The numbers are high here,” McCarthy said. “They are the highest, in most cases, for sexual assault and harassment and murders for our entire formation — the U.S. Army.”
An independent command climate review will be done at Fort Hood, staffed by five civilian experts, to assess the situation at the post and identify “root causes associated with the rise of felonies, violent acts [and] to better understand why this is happening at this installation,” McCarthy added.
Rosecrans served as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He had been with the unit since November 2018.
Rosecrans joined the Army in May 2018. His home of record is listed as Kimberling City, Missouri, according to Fort Hood officials.
Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.