San Jose Police Officer Cleared In Fatal Shooting, Ruled Self Defense

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San Jose shooting, officer involved, suspect

Police at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on the 700 block of Hillsdale Ave. in San Jose, October 10, 2011. (CBS)

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) — A fatal shooting by San Jose a police officer last year was ruled a case of justified self-defense by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office Tuesday.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen released a 21-page report on the death of 23-year-old Ricardo Moreno, who was fatally shot by Officer Jeff Harwell last October.

According to Rosen, Moreno was apparently intoxicated on drugs when he shot up his brother’s car with a semiautomatic weapon and was waving his gun at passing motorists during the incident. Shortly after, one of the motorists called police.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“When several police officers arrived, one of them instructed Mr. Moreno to lie down, which he did. They told him to take the gun out of his hands and move it away. Mr. Moreno refused to do that and instead started to rack the gun, pointed it at one of the officers. The other officer, fearing for the safety of his partner officer shot and killed Mr. Moreno,” Rosen explained.

Authorities later confirmed that Moreno was a suspect in a double homicide at San Jose State University two days earlier.

Rosen said the gun used in those killings was the same gun Moreno had pointed at officers.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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