H-SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Dec 12, 2012 8:56 PM by Kelly Orsini, KSBY News

DA: Use of force in deadly officer-involved shooting was justified

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley says the June 28 officer-involved shooting that killed Jose Ortega in Santa Maria was a justifiable homicide.

Police tried to arrest Ortega during a traffic stop as the result of a drug and gang-related investigation, but they say he took off on foot. As officers chased him, they say he pulled out a handgun and turned it towards them. Officers opened fire. Ortega died at the scene.

According to the district attorney's report, evidence showed the officers fired their weapons in a "lawful response to a perceived threat of deadly force." It says "an objectively reasonable person in the same set of circumstances could deem it necessary to defend themselves and others in the same manner." The report concludes officers acted in self-defense and the shooting was a justifiable homicide.

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