Suspect in Deputy Greenwood's Murder Committed Suicide, Police Say
William Francis Kenny
Courtesy Baytown Police
The suspect in the ambush-style murder of a longtime lawman last week has been identified — but police say he has committed suicide.
Baytown police believe 64-year-old William Francis Kenny opened fire on Assistant Chief Deputy Clint Greenwood of the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable's Office while Greenwood was arriving at the Baytown courthouse for work on the morning of April 3. About 24 hours later, police say, Kenny committed suicide, apparently with the same gun he used to kill Greenwood. The veteran officer had spent the last 30 years rotating roles in law enforcement as a deputy, a defense attorney and a prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
Baytown police Lieutenant Steve Dorris said police used video surveillance that captured Kenny's vehicle and face to track him down. Kenny's vehicle was caught on video fleeing the scene of the shooting behind the courthouse, and Dorris says police tracked the car to a convenience store, where a camera there captured Kenny's face on video. Meanwhile, investigators were able to use information about the vehicle to trace it to a rental car registered with Kenny.
"We had investigators basically going from business to business to business doing legwork, trying to track down video," Dorris said. "As you can imagine, tracking down video for something as specific as a passing glimpse of a specific car is a daunting task for investigators. That's one of the reasons it took us so long to get us to where we are."
Rice Owls Football vs. Army West Point
TicketsSat., Oct. 7, 5:30pm
Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs
TicketsSun., Oct. 8, 7:30pm
Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns
TicketsSun., Oct. 15, 12:00pm
TicketsSat., Oct. 21, 7:00pm
Rice Owls Football vs. LA Tech
TicketsSat., Oct. 28, 2:30pm
Dorris would not speculate about the motive for Kenny's attack on Greenwood, and did not identify any relationship between Kenny and Greenwood or any connection to law enforcement Kenny had. Kenny had filed multiple complaints against law enforcement with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, though Dorris would not detail them.
The Houston Chronicle is now reporting that the first complaint Kenny filed was related to family photos his ex-wife had taken that made Kenny angry. He had asked HCSO to arrest her over the photos. When the sheriff's office did not pursue the case, he filed another complaint about the lack of action. Citing anonymous sources, the Chronicle reports that Greenwood, as head of the sheriff's office's Internal Affairs Division, made the decision not to investigate officers.
Kenny then apparently made a website listing various people in law enforcement who Kenny believed were protecting their fellow officers and choosing not to investigate his family-photos case, the Chron reports. Faced with questions about any possible "hit list" Kenny had made, Dorris said it was not accurate to characterize it as a hit list and said he did not believe any others in law enforcement were in danger.
"He did file some complaints with the sheriff's department and possibly some other agencies, but why Greenwood was the person he went after, we just don't know right now," Dorris said. "And unfortunately that may be one of the questions that will prove difficult for us to answer, because the person who can answer them is no longer here."
Dorris said when police responded to Kenny's suicide in downtown Houston last Tuesday, police positively identified Kinny — but at the time were unaware that he was the suspect in Greenwood's murder. It was not until Sunday evening that police made the connection, Dorris said.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.