San Angelo Couple Sets Home on Fire to Lure Cops Into Ambush

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Credit: Tom Green County Jail

Credit: Tom Green County Jail

SAN ANGELO — A San Angelo couple was arrested for allegedly setting their house on fire so they could lure police into an ambush.

Texas Rangers say Gary Ray Wright, 67, and his 60-year-old wife, Brenda Joyce Wright, set their house on fire January 13 because they were dissatisfied with life and decided the way police handled a traffic mishap was their ‘last straw,’ according to gosanangelo.com.

The pair allegedly worked out details of the ambush for several weeks, planning to set their house on fire and kill the responding San Angelo police officers.

Things did not go according to the Wrights’ plan, though.

Brenda armed herself with a shotgun and hid in the bathroom, waiting for officers.

But she couldn’t stay in her spot because where there’s fire, there’s smoke — and it was too much for Brenda.

Gary first called two TV stations and told them to send reporters and have their cameras ready. He then called 911, telling the dispatcher send the police because he intended to have a standoff and kill them. He also asked for the neighborhood to be evacuated.

Police arrived to find Gary armed with a rifle near the front of the couple’s home, and Brenda nearby. Gary was shot by police after ignoring orders to drop his weapon.

Both were taken to a local hospital; Brenda was arrested the same day and charged with Attempted Capital Murder of a Peace Officer, with bond set at $250,000.

Inside the home, Fire Marshal Ross Coleman found eight jars full of gasoline, screws, and syringe needles. Several aerosol canisters placed around the house had exploded during the fire, according to sanangelolive.com.

Gary was booked January 25 into the Tom Green County Jail for Attempted Capital Murder of a Peace Officer or Fireman. He’s being held without bond.