Van crushed
Michelle Coufal saw this crushed New Braunfels Police cruiser Thursday night and assumed the worst.

NEW BRAUNFELS — Medals of Valor will be presented at Monday’s New Braunfels City Council meeting to three New Braunfels Police Department officers who saved the life of a New Braunfels kidnap victim on Dec. 2, 2010.

On Thursday, authorities released the footage of the incident where Officer Robert Salinas, Officer Kyle Williams and Cpl. Joe Robles shot and killed gunman and would-be kidnapper Glenn Shane Godden, 39, after he turned his gun on them.

At 7:56 p.m. on the night of Wassailfest, three officers responded to the 1800 block of Sunspur Road in reference to a possible kidnapping.  

Footage from the three officers’ squad car video cameras, put together at the NBPD, is dramatic. As Godden’s van passes, the driver’s side door is open where his ex-wife, 32, was apparently trying to escape but had gotten snagged.

The images capture the menacing approach of the van’s headlights when, after passing one officer, the van accelerated, crossed to the left side of the roadway, and rammed a second patrol car head on. The van came to rest with the front wheels on the windshield area of the patrol car — and with the female victim trapped underneath both vehicles. 

The footage shows Godden repeatedly trying to fire his pistol at her, getting back in the van and trying to drive it off from atop the police car, then getting out and attempting to shoot the woman repeatedly, again.

“The suspect exited his van and pointed a handgun at the trapped female, attempting to shoot her, but the weapon malfunctioned. The suspect racked the slide on his weapon, and then pointed it at the three officers. The officers responded by firing their weapons, striking the suspect several times,” NBPD Lt. Mike Penshorn said.

The gunman died at the scene. His ex-wife was extricated by New Braunfels Fire Department and air-lifted to University Hospital in San Antonio with non-life threatening injuries.   

In keeping with NBPD policy, the three NBPD officers were placed on paid administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.

Guadalupe County District Attorney policy calls for all officer-involved shootings to be presented to the grand jury. District Attorney Heather Miller said the grand jurors no-billed the three and found the shooting justified as asked by Miller.

“To go further, I believe the officers should be commended for their bravery and decision-making skills. Our office was also impressed with your agency’s response to the shooting,” Miller said in a letter dated Feb. 14.

“All three of them are fantastic officers,” Penshorn said.

He added: “We investigated internally also, reviewing ourselves to make sure we were within our policies and the laws of the state.”

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Good job guys!

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