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Couple set fire to home with intention of killing police officers who responded

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Jan. 24–SAN ANGELO — A couple arrested after confronting police officers who responded to a house fire on San Angelo’s north side set the fire with the intent of killing police who responded, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Texas Rangers have identified husband and wife Gary Ray Wright and Brenda Joyce Wright as the suspects involved in the fiery shooting standoff with San Angelo police on Friday January 13.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit in the case, the couple intended to go out with bang by killing police officers because of a grievance they had with the San Angelo Police Department.

“Brenda Joyce Wright detailed how she and her husband had become frustrated with life,” the affidavit stated. “The couple was dissatisfied over how a recent traffic accident had been investigated with the San Angelo Police Department. The couple viewed this as the ‘last straw’ and decided to put into motion a plan the couple had been planning for several weeks.”

The wife and husband plotted to set their house on fire, summon police to their residence and then kill officers as they responded, according to the affidavit.

Brenda Joyce Wright, 60, told detectives that she armed herself with a shotgun, hid in the bathroom next to a window and waited with the intention to kill any officers who would come into range, the affidavit stated.

She was unable to carry out her plan because of heavy smoke from the house fire.

Her husband, Gary Ray Wright, said in the 911 phone call to summon police that he intended to cause a standoff with law enforcement and kill police, according to the affidavit, and asked for the neighborhood to be evacuated.

Gary Ray Wright, 67, had called a local television news station, KLST, before communicating with dispatch, to announce his plans and asked the news director to have reporters bring cameras to the scene.

Police arrived shortly before noon and encountered Gary Wright, who was armed with a rifle, and his wife near the front of their home in the 1200 block East 21st Street, according to the affidavit. Wright ignored police instructions to drop the rifle, and officers shot him. Both the husband and wife were taken to Shannon Medical Center.

Shannon would not release any information on Wright’s condition late Monday afternoon.

There was significant fire damage to the front and back of the house.

Brenda Joyce Wright was arrested the same day and charged with attempted capital murder, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison. She remains at the Tom Green County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

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