APD officers accused of using excessive force in 2019 shooting death was justified, Travis Co. DA says

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the two Austin officers accused of using excessive force in a fatal 2019 officer-involved-shooting were justified in their actions.

BACKGROUND: Man killed in officer-involved-shooting in southeast Austin

On Friday, the DA’s Office announced it had concluded its review of the Austin Police Department’s investigation into the Jan. 29, 2019 shooting death of 27-year-old Paul Cantu by APD officers Luis Camacho and Robert Mattingly.

The shooting happened near the 6400 block of south Interstate 35, after officers attempted to pull over Cantu but he drove away.

Camacho and Mattingly didn’t follow him, however, and instead tracked the registration of the car, and when they spoke to the owners around 11:50 p.m., the owner told police they got a text from their son who said he had crashed their car near the intersection of East William Cannon Drive and McKinney Falls Parkway.

When Camacho and Mattingly found the car, they say Cantu got out with a gun in his hand and refused to follow officers’ commands.

Backup officers say they watched Cantu point the gun at the officer trying to calm him down, then opened fire, killing him.

In its announcement, the DA’s Office said:

“In this case, the District Attorney’s Office has determined that each officer’s use of deadly force was justified under the facts established in the investigation.”

A full discussion on the basis for the decision will be published here.

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