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Three LCPD officers involved in deadly shooting cleared by District Attorney
By: Jesse Martinez
LAS CRUCES, N.M. The District Attorney's Office cleared three Las Cruces police officers involved in deadly shooting on July 2.
As KFOX14 previously reported, Jose Estrada, 37, was shot by officers after he pointed what turned out to be a pellet gun at officers. A report by the state's medical investigator's office stated that investigators learned Estrada had told an associated that he intended to provoke police to shoot him by using a pellet gun that resembled a high-powered rifle.
Police said the weapon Estrada used was a Crosman M-16 style pellet rifle (Top weapon in photo), which resembles AR-15/M-16 style rifles (Bottom weapon in photo).
Officers first used beanbag rounds at Estrada before he pointed the pellet gun at three officers, who then shot at him.
On Thursday, Police Chief Richard Williams received a letter from the District Attorney Mark D'Antonio, which stated, "Based upon the results of the investigation presented to the District Attorney's office, I find the shooting to be justified."
Officers Erik Cook, Richard Garcia and Eric Guerra were then cleared of any wrongdoing, police said.
"With what I learned from our initial investigation, I was confident that our officers would be cleared," Williams said. "These officers faced a very difficult situation and responded professionally and in accordance with our policies."