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Wright couple fire

Couple intent on killing police officers set house on fire to lure them in

by Leigh Egan

A San Angelo, Texas, man and woman are behind bars after they allegedly set their own house on fire in an attempt to lure police officers over, with a mission to kill them.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Gary Ray Wright and Brenda Joyce Wright were arrested on January 13 after police responded to a fire at their San Angelo home. When officers arrived, they were met with a standoff with the two suspects. Earlier that morning, Gary Wright allegedly called local news station, KLST-TV/KSAN-TV, and told them to “get ready,” as he planned a standoff.

Police were met by Gary Wright, 65, when they arrived to the home. Wright was holding a rifle while standing outside of his home, and raised the gun towards the approaching officer. The officer reacted, and quickly shot Wright. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Brenda Wright, 60, was reportedly looking out of the bathroom window, armed with a shotgun. She later told police she tried to shoot at them but couldn’t see through the heavy gun smoke.

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Brenda Wright was arrested and booked into the Tom Green County Jail shortly after the incident. Gary Wright recovered from his injuries on January 25 and subsequently, was also booked into jail. Both face charges of one count of attempted capital murder and two counts of arson.

Days after the ordeal, Brenda Wright admitted that it was premeditated. They’d been planning the fire and standoff since Thanksgiving Day, after receiving notice that were being evicted from their home. She was also enraged at life in general, which increased after the San Angelo police department wrote her a traffic ticket.

“Brenda Joyce Wright detailed how she and her husband had become frustrated with life,” the affidavit stated. “The couple was dissatisfied over how a recent traffic accident had been investigated with the San Angelo Police Department. The couple viewed this as the ‘last straw’ and decided to put into motion a plan the couple had been planning for several weeks.”

Brenda Wright indicated that the although the mortgage company was taking their home, they wouldn’t let it go without a fight.

“They can have the property, but they’re not having our sweat, blood and tears.”

The fire was so large that it spread to neighboring houses.

Both suspects remain behind bars on $25,000 bail each.

[Feature Photo: Tom Green County Jail]

Leigh Egan is a crime-fighting journalist and editor who specializes in breaking news and investigative true crime coverage. With more than a decade of experience under her belt, Leigh’s work can be found in a number of high-profile national publications. For Leigh, learning didn’t stop after college. She considers herself a lifelong learner who frequently takes media and journalism courses to keep abreast of the latest happenings and innovations in her field.