Retired officer cleared in fatal shooting of former firefighter in area

Published 10:33 am Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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BEAUMONT — A Jefferson County grand jury has declined to pursue charges against a former Beaumont police officer in the November fatal shooting of a retired firefighter in Port Arthur.

Retired firefighter Charles Quisenberry, 61, died from a single gunshot wound to his chest outside his home in the 8000 block of Tom Drive on Nov. 17.

Two guns were involved in the altercation, according to information from Port Arthur Police in the days after the shooting, though authorities did not say who had the second firearm.

Grand Jury Attorney/Chief of Intake System Cory Kneeland said the reason the jury declined to pursue charges is on the grounds of self-defense.

The case was reviewed, and the determination was made Jan. 18.

The shooter’s name is not being released because charges were not filed against him. It is known that the shooter, now age 62, is a retired Beaumont police officer.

Kneeland described the process in which a grand jury hears a case.

First there is a full investigation with statements, physical evidence and information from law enforcement. Law enforcement then brings the case to the District Attorney’s Office where officials there check to see if all needed information is available.

“I present everything,” Kneeland said regarding submitting the case to a grand jury. “My philosophy is to bring everything we have to the grand jury.”

Kneeland explains the law and all possible charges from homicide, criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault.

The grand jury also hears information on rules involving justification and self-defense.

“Then we step out of the room, by law, and they vote,” Kneeland said.

The grand jury ruling means the shooter will not be charged in the death of Quisenberry.

— Written by Mary Meaux