AUSTIN (KXAN) - An Austin police officer will not be charged in a deadly shooting involving an armed teenager during a robbery on Oct. 1 at a Big Lots store in South Austin.
Thursday afternoon Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said a grand jury returned a no bill on Austin police Officer James Derrick Bowman, meaning they decided there is not enough evidence to indict him on criminal charges.
Devin Contreras, 16, was shot during an alleged robbery that he and John Michael Rodriguez, 19, were caught committing. Surveillance video from the store released Thursday shows the two teenagers committing the robbery.
Rodriguez was not shot during the robbery. Charges against him related to the incident are still pending.
Lehmberg's office released dash camera video of the incident which shows Contreras kick open the back door of the Big Lots. He appears to point a weapon at officers and Chief Art Acevedo said they found a loaded gun beneath Contreras' body at the scene.
"This is a case that really illustrates the importance of video evidence," said Acevedo. "It's clear that there was gun- that's without dispute- it's clear there was a threat that officer faced."
Acevedo said an internal investigation has not uncovered any policy violations by Officer Bowman and he has returned to the force after a mandatory time on administrative leave following the shooting.
Albert Contreras watched the video for the first time Thursday and became emotional discussing it.
"I know he was wrong in being in the building from the beginning," said Contreras. "But why did- why did they have to take my son from me like the way they did?"
He also said he believed the video showed his son was trying to run away from officers. His attorney, Bobby Taylor, said they will continue to evaluate the video before deciding if they will take any legal action.
Contreras said his son became a father to a baby girl three months after his death.
According to the affidavit on the case, three police officers responded to a burglary call at a South Austin Big Lots and saw two subjects walking around inside, believed to be Contreras and Rodriguez.
Contreras, wearing a red-hooded shirt and red bandana on his face, saw one of the officers and ran towards the back of the store, where Bowman was waiting outside.
Bowman heard Contreras kick the back door open and saw him holding a gun, though he did not open fire until he heard two pops and saw a muzzle flash.
The affidavit also said the two teenagers were caught on surveillance video burglarizing 32 storage units in the 2200 block of Pleasant Valley Road shortly before the Big Lots burglary.
Several firearms were stolen from the storage units rented by Roland Denison.
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