NAPA (CBS SF) — Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley said Tuesday that a Napa police officer is not criminally liable for the fatal shooting of an assault suspect in Napa a year ago.
Haley said Officer Christopher Simas used reasonable deadly force and his actions were lawful and legally justified in the shooting of David Alejandro Molina, 27, of Napa, at the Vineyard Terrace apartments at 770 Stonehouse Drive on Dec. 5, 2018.
In a summary of the district attorney’s report on the shooting, Haley said Molina engaged in a heated argument when he threatened several people, attacked a woman and displayed a pistol in his waistband in a threatening manner at the Kenwood Apartments at 550 River Glen Drive in Napa.
Molina went into the Vineyard Terrace apartment complex when Simas arrived, and Simas tried to handcuff Molina. Molina violently resisted, grabbed Simas’ rifle and fired it seven times into the ground. Simas broke free, retained control of the rifle and shot Molina who had turned toward him a step away, according to Haley.
Napa police released a body camera video of the shooting at a news conference on Dec. 11, 2018. It shows Simas repeatedly telling Molina to put his hands up. Simas tells Molina there was a report that he was involved in an armed assault at the Kenwood apartment complex and asks Molina if he has a gun. Molina says no.
The video shows Molina walk away and he tells Simas to stop following him. Simas tries to handcuff Molina during a struggle and Molina manages to discharge Simas’ rifle, but the muzzle was in the mud of an embankment, Napa police Chief Robert Plummer said at the news conference.
Simas regains control of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and fires five shots at Molina, who was struck four times and died at the scene at 2:05 a.m.
Police said Molina was armed with a .38-caliber special revolver loaded with six rounds, five cartridges contained small lead “snake shot” and one was a hollow point round.
The complete report of the shooting is available online.
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