SAN ANGELO, Texas — A crazed Texas couple’s bid to lure cops into an ambush by setting their house on fire failed before they could fire a shot when the wife was overcome by smoke and the local news station the husband told to bring their cameras called police.
The bizarre plot unfolded on Jan. 13, when Gary Ray Wright, 67, and his wife Brenda Joyce Wright, 60, decided to draw San Angelo police into a fiery gun battle at their home. According to court documents, the couple were furious with how the department had investigated a traffic accident they were involved and decided to exact revenge.
Police say that around 11 a.m. that morning, Gary Wright called the newsroom of KLST/KSAN-TV and told them he planned to draw police into a firefight and that they should bring their cameras.
Immediately after hanging up the phone, the newsroom director called police.
A few minutes later, Wright called the police himself and told them he was armed and planning to kill cops and asked that they evacuate the neighborhood.
As the police headed over to the Wrights’ house, they received calls from neighbors saying it was on fire. When police units drew up to the house, they spotted Gary Wright standing outside with a rifle.
Inside, Brenda Wright stood by a bathroom window armed with a shotgun. But heavy smoke drove her from the house before she could open fire.
Meanwhile, after Gary Wright refused to drop his weapon, officers opened fire, striking him several times. He was hospitalized in critical condition and was later held without bail on charges of attempted capital murder of a police officer.
Investigators later discovered several gasoline bombs throughout the home.
Brenda Wright, who was held on $250,000 bond, told investigators that the couple had become frustrated with life and viewed the situation with the traffic accident as “the ‘last straw,” a police affidavit said.
Gary Wright told detectives that he had been “messed around” with by police for several years and was fed up.
Police say Gary Wright had been arrested four times for DWI and drugs, but they mostly dated back to the 1970s. Brenda Wright had never been arrested before, police said.