GALVESTON — A grand jury has decided not to indict a Galveston Police Department captain who shot a wrong-way driver on Interstate 45.
Capt. Jeffrey Heyse will not be charged for his actions during the May 15 incident.
The grand jury’s decision was made public Tuesday after a sheriff’s department investigation.
“It’s clearly evident that although the circumstances might have been unusual, his immediate actions prevented further injury or possibly death,” Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto said.
At about 9:30 p.m. on May 15, Heyse was off duty and driving north on I-45 when he noticed a truck driving north while in the southbound lane of the Galveston Causeway.
Heyse called 911 to report the vehicle and “the need for immediate intervention,” officials said.
Heyse began firing at the oncoming truck from a position just south of the Texas City Wye interchange. He struck the truck’s rear right tire, disabling it.
After the truck was stopped, the driver left the vehicle and began approaching Heyse.
Heyse shot the man, Nelson Anderle, 33, of Nederland, once in the stomach.
“There was an immediate need for immediate action,” Porretto said. “He made a critical call.”
After the shooting, Heyse was put on a mandatory three-day administrative leave. His actions were also reviewed by the city’s civilian review board and by the police department’s internal affairs division, Porretto said.
Anderle, 33, who survived the shooting, was indicted by the grand jury on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Porretto said Heyse, who supervises the police department’s criminal investigations division, often sees the results of wrong-way drivers who aren’t stopped before they crash into other vehicles.
“It was a traumatic event for him,” Porretto said. “He’s definitely engaged and concerned about the motoring public.”