The man shot to death as he drove a tractor-trailer rig containing marijuana through northwest Harris County and into what became a shootout between police and gangsters is identified in court papers made public Wednesday as Lawrence Chapa.
Four men are charged with capital murder in the death of Chapa, who was killed Monday. Chapa's name and residence are not mentioned in the court papers, which list the name of the defendants.
Law-enforcement authorities, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Chapa was working with counter-narcotics officers by driving the truck, loaded with 300 pounds of marijuana, to a Houston-area location where they could arrest criminals waiting for the delivery.
They have not said where Chapa, who held a job as a legitimate truck driver, got the marijuana or how he made a connection with the trafficking organization.
In addition to Chapa being shot to death, a Harris County sheriff's deputy, wearing civilian clothes and escorting the truck driven by Chapa, was shot in the knee and wounded, in apparent friendly fire by other officers responding to the shootout.