Former soldier charged for firing weapon outside Fort Hood barracks
By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 10, 2021
AUSTIN, Texas — A former soldier visiting Fort Hood over the weekend was charged Tuesday for firing a handgun at a soldier after a drunken argument, according to court documents.
Ricardo Manuele Davila-DeJesus, 28, was arrested Saturday at about 12:50 a.m. by Fort Hood military police following the incident. He was indicted for a federal charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to court documents in the Western District of Texas.
Hours after the incident, base officials increased security measures for civilians wanting to access the Army base.
On Saturday night, Davila-DeJesus was inside barracks building 9421, part of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, where he was drinking and became argumentative, according to court documents. Davila-DeJesus lives in Killeen, the town just outside Fort Hood, and soldiers in the barracks attempted to arrange a ride home for him.
But the argument spilled out into the parking lot.
Davila-DeJesus then retrieved a Glock 30 — .45-caliber handgun — and pointed it directly at a soldier, who is not named in the court documents.
The soldier, “who was in fear for his life,” ran back toward the barracks building and heard three gunshots. Davila-DeJesus was disarmed by others at the scene and when police arrived, he was described by officers as aggressive and non-compliant.
Courts documents do not explain where Davila-DeJesus got the weapon, only that police took it from him. Police also found spent shell casings in several locations as well as one live round inside the barracks, according to court documents. No one was injured in the shooting.
The FBI assisted Fort Hood police with the investigation.
After the incident Saturday, Fort Hood announced increased security measures for access to the base. All civilians must obtain a visitor’s pass to enter Fort Hood. Those with base access can no longer “vouch for adult passengers,” according to base officials.
Lt. Gen. Pat White, commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, began to review of base access in recent weeks because “entering Fort Hood is a privilege not a right,” said Col. Myles B. Caggins III, senior spokesman for III Corps and Fort Hood.
Also under review is base access for former soldiers who were separated for misconduct. Davila-DeJesus, who served at Fort Hood, was separated from the Army in May after misconduct that included drug use, domestic violence and driving under the influence, according to base officials.
Base officials warned the new security measures, which require every person entering the base to present an approved identification card or visitor pass, could increase commute times at the base. That was the case Monday, the first workday since implementation, said Chris Haug, spokesman for Fort Hood.
“It is too early to know if there will be any long-term effects on wait times,” he said.
Davila-DeJesus was taken to McClennan County Jail where he awaits a hearing in a Waco federal courtroom Thursday. No bond has been set. Upon conviction, Davila-DeJesus faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
Two shooting incidents last year between current and former Fort Hood soldiers resulted in deaths.
Spc. Freddy Delacruz and two other people died from gunshot wounds March 14 in a Killeen apartment. Former soldier Barnard Lnell Morrow was arrested in August and charged with the three homicides. He was discharged from the Army in August 2019, according to his service record.
On March 23, Michael Wardrobe, who was separated from the Army for two months, was shot and killed in Killeen. Spc. Jovino Jamel Roy was arrested and charged with murder.