SAN JOSE (BCN) — No charges will be filed against a San Jose police officer who shot and killed a reportedly armed homicide suspect fleeing from officers, Santa Clara County prosecutors said Tuesday.
An investigation into the shooting found that Officer Jacob Morris lawfully shot Richard Jacquez, 40, on Aug. 17, 2015, as Jacquez tried to go into a home at 37 Kirkhaven Court.
Prosecutors said Jacquez threatened to shoot it out with police rather than be arrested. Jacquez also threatened to kill an acquaintance for knowing too much, according to prosecutors.
Four days before he died, Jacquez and two others allegedly raided a San Jose business complex at 1885 Lundy Ave. where he shot and killed Christopher Wrenn in Suite 120.
Wrenn had allegedly been held at gunpoint by one of the suspects and tried to escape. Wrenn died at a hospital following the shooting.
Prosecutors said the district attorney’s office investigates each fatal shooting involving police officers to determine whether the force used was legal.
By law, officers are allowed to use lethal force when they or others are in imminent danger, according to prosecutors.
Officers can also use deadly force when they need to arrest someone who has committed a forcible or atrocious felony and that person is fleeing or resisting arrest, posing a threat of future or imminent death or great bodily injury to officers or others.
A report by the district attorney’s office said that Morris, before he shot Jacquez, thought Jacquez was a desperate, armed man who was going into a home to take hostages to avoid arrest.
Morris, a 19-year veteran of the department, and a specialized police unit located Jacquez and a woman with him, according to prosecutors.
Police believed that Jacquez might kill the woman because she knew too much about the alleged killing of Wrenn.
In his patrol car Morris chased Jacquez, who was driving a Honda Accord, to Kirkhaven Court where Jacquez got out of his car and Morris struck him with his patrol car.
Prosecutors said the impact knocked Jacquez to the ground but he got up and started running toward 37 Kirkhaven Court.
Morris ordered him to stop but he kept running toward the home.
Morris shot Jacquez three times as he reached for the home’s door and as Jacquez looked back at Morris, Morris fired two more times.
Officers chasing Jacquez were told he was armed, but police later learned that Jacquez had left his assault pistol in a home, according to prosecutors.
Police told the public that Jacquez reached toward his waist before he was shot but that was incorrect, prosecutors said. Police corrected that information.
Officers shot and killed Matthew Castillo, a suspect in the robbery and killing of Wrenn, a day before Jacquez was killed.
Prosecutors said that earlier this year the district attorney determined the shooting of Castillo by San Jose police was also lawful.
Duane Aguero, a third suspect in Wrenn’s death, has been charged in the robbery and homicide, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Lance Daugherty said.
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