BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - KBTX has obtained video showing a Bryan man firing a gun at a DPS state trooper during a 2017 traffic stop in College Station.
Click on the video player to watch the dash camera video from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Charles Nelson, 34, was found guilty last week of aggravated assault on a public servant. He was sentenced to life in prison for the incident on March 21, 2017. Nelson fired a gun from the passenger side of a vehicle he was driving after he was pulled over along Highway 6 in College Station. The DPS trooper was injured by the shattered glass.
The following is a press release from the Brazos County District Attorney's Office:
A Brazos County jury convicted Charles Nelson, 34, of Bryan, of Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant. 361st District Judge Steve Smith sentenced Nelson to Life in prison.
Just after midnight on March 21, 2017, DPS Trooper Justin
Ferguson noticed a car traveling North on Highway 6 in College Station with an obstructed license plate. Trooper Ferguson made a traffic stop
on the car, which pulled onto Horse Haven Drive, in between Academy Sports and Gander Mountain.
As Trooper Ferguson approached the passenger door of
the car, Nelson, who was seated in the passenger seat, fired a
shot from a .40 handgun through the passenger window
directly at Trooper Ferguson's face. The shot missed Ferguson by inches. As Trooper Ferguson ran back to his patrol car, Nelson fired again through the passenger window.
Immediately after Nelson's first shot, the car's driver, Michael Lott, jumped out of the car and laid down on the street to surrender. Trooper Ferguson, who retreated behind his patrol car, returned fire toward
Nelson's seat. Despite numerous bullets striking all around him, Nelson was not hit by the Trooper's gunfire. During the exchange of
gunfire, Nelson fired a total of three shots at the
After the initial gunfight, Nelson leaned across the now-empty driver's seat and pressed the gas pedal with his hand, causing the car to speed away from Trooper Ferguson, and nearly running over Lott, who was still laying in the street. Trooper Ferguson, concerned that Nelson
would reach a nearby residential area, fired more shots at the fleeing car.
The car went out of control in between Gander Mountain and Academy
and ultimately came to rest along the North Wall of the Academy building. Nelson, who was not injured, fled the car on foot
and concealed himself in a nearby marsh.
Police officers from College Station, Bryan, and DPS quickly responded
and sealed off a perimeter around the area. Approximately two hours after the shooting, a DPS helicopter from Austin located Nelson in the marsh by using an infrared camera system.
A team of officers from the three different police agencies waded into the marsh and arrested Nelson.
Investigators later learned that prior to fleeing in the car, Nelson dropped his gun out of the open driver’s door. The gun was located on the street.
Michael Lott cooperated fully with law enforcement and explained that
Nelson, who was on parole at the time, said he “was not going back to
prison” after he saw Trooper Ferguson pulling the car over.
Texas Ranger Josh Ray, working in conjunction with the FBI, learned that Nelson purchased the gun from an associate three days before the shooting in exchange for drugs.
“This case demonstrates the courage and professionalism of law enforcement officers in Brazos County, as well as the dangers they face on our behalf every day. We are so proud of Trooper Ferguson and the work of all of the officers involved in this case. This verdict is for them.”
-Ryan Calvert & Natalie Tise