Man killed during child custody exchange in Denton

A child custody exchange turned deadly Friday evening in the parking lot of a Denton City Hall building when a Justin man was fatally shot in front of his children, Denton police said Sunday.

Authorities identified the victim as Richard Benovic, 49, who died at the scene. Denton police arrested Gary Landers, 54, a retired federal law enforcement officer, shortly after the shooting in the 600 block of East Hickory Street.

The incident happened about 6 p.m. Friday when Benovic and his ex-wife met in the City Hall East parking lot to exchange their two children, ages 9 and 13. The couple met near the Police Department because they had a history of violence, police said Sunday.

Landers was at the scene because he is a companion of Benovic's ex-wife, police said.

He and Benovic got into an altercation in the parking lot, police said. At some point, Landers pulled out a handgun and fired several times at Benovic, who was not armed, police said. Benovic died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's website.

No one else was injured during the shooting, police said. Landers is expected to face a charge of murder, authorities said.

DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763