Update: Police admit to identifying wrong suspect in downtown shooting
Updated: Tuesday, February 11 2014, 10:18 PM MST
By: Joshua Zuber and Jamel Valencia
EL PASO, Texas - El Paso police identified the wrong man in last week’s shooting in downtown.
Police spokesman, Darrel Petry announced Tuesday morning the suspect they have in custody for allegedly firing a weapon at a police officer is not the man they identified as the shooter.
Friday police released information regarding Thursday’s shooting that detailed what happened at the DeSoto Hotel on the 300 block of Mills Avenue.
Police stated they had a man in custody who they believed fired two rounds at an officer responding to a disturbance call at the hotel. They identified the shooter as Andray Harris.
On Tuesday, police officials said Harris was not the man who shot at an officer.
The 23-year-old man police have in custody was identified Tuesday morning as Aubrey Dale Woods.
Petry said police investigators were not able to speak with Woods after the shooting, but interviewed hotel residents and gathered paperwork from the hotel which identified Harris as the alleged shooter.
Petry said witness statements and paperwork found in Woods’ room found in Woods’ room for the wrong identification were to blame; though he said he didn’t know what kind of paperwork, police used.
Police were questioned as to whether there was a rush to give the public a name in a dangerous situation involving one of their own.
In other instances, the names of suspects involved in deadly car accidents like Larry Ortero and Julian Tapia were not released as quickly.
On Nov. 14, Otero was allegedly involved in a deadly wrong-way accident, but he wasn’t identified until early December.
In Tapia’s case, the man suspected of driving drunk in the crash that killed the teen in January took police three days to identify.
Petry said that is “Comparing apples to oranges.”
"They were transported for treatment for injuries that they sustained in a traffic collision. And although it was a fatal traffic collision, we are going to have officers there, but we are not going to if those individuals are receiving extended medical treatment care, we don't have the resources to do that,” Petry said.
In other words, while not being able to disclose Woods’ injuries, police apparently felt they had the resources to keep him in custody.
As far as what happens in cases where the wrong information is released to the public, Petry said it remains to be seen how this might change policies in the police department.
When Woods is released from University Medical Center, Police said he will be charged with attempted capital murder.
Wood’s bond will be set at $500,000.
When Harris was identified as the shooter, KFOX14 came across Harris’ mug shot and criminal record that listed him as a suspect in an aggravated assault case in 2013. Harris’ mug shot was released when police revealed information about that assault case.
The criminal attempted capital murder charge filed against Harris was dropped, according to Petry.