Retired Federal Officer Charged With Killing a Father in Front of Kids

Rick Benovic (KTXA/CBS)

DENTON, Texas (CBS/KTXA) A former federal law enforcement officer is charged with murdering a father who was trying to pick-up his children from his estranged wife.

The shooting happened Friday, May 7, just steps from the Denton, Texas police station. Investigators say 49-year old Richard Benovic was trying to pick-up his children.

Police say that's when retired federal law officer Gary Landers, the boyfriend of Benovic's estranged wife, fired at least three shots following a confrontation. Benovic died in the parking lot and the 54-year-old Landers was charged with murder.

"According to him (the suspect), the ex-husband approached him in an aggressive manner. He (the suspect) was armed, so he shot him (Benovic)," said Captain Lenn Carter with Denton Police.

Police said the shooting was witnessed by Benovic's two children - a 13-year-old special needs son and a 9-year-old daughter.

Neighbors said the couple separated in January.  "He's a great man and I want people to know this wasn't justified," one woman said. "Hopefully justice will not be blind on this one."

Police say the couple had a history of tension-filled exchanges of the children. Investigators say the couple specifically chose to pick-up and drop off the children in front of the police station to avoid complications.

Police said the shooter, Landers, carried an identification badge for a federal law enforcement division, but didn't name it. 

Story Contributed by CBS Affiliate KTXA