The Orange County district attorney's office has ruled that two Huntington Beach officers who shot and killed two men last year acted in self-defense and will not have charges filed against them.
"Simply stated, the law allows police officers to use deadly force when they reasonably believe that someone is trying to shoot them," according to the report, issued Thursday.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department conducted an investigation after Officer Kenton Ferrin and Sgt. Tom Weizoerick shot and killed two suspects during a traffic stop Nov. 1.
The officers stopped a green four-door Lexus, driven by a woman with two passengers, as part of an investigation into John Andrew Torres, a parolee who was believed to be armed and dangerous, according to the district attorney's report.
Another suspect, Erick Catalan, of Long Beach, was the other passenger in the car, and while the woman was being questioned by the officers, a gun was shot from inside the vehicle, despite the officers instructing Torres to put his hands up.
Believing the gun was being shot at them, the officers shot back. Seconds later, Catalan was seen moving his arm toward Torres and was instructed to again put his hands up, but he did not comply, leading Ferrin to shoot him, the report said.
A .40-caliber handgun was later recovered from the Lexus, and Catalan's arm was found near it.
"The evidence ... presented to us clearly supports the conclusion that two armed suspects in close proximity to Officer Ferrin and Sgt. Weizoerick engaged in violent conduct directed toward the officers and that such conduct reasonably triggered Officer Ferrin's and Sgt. Weizoerick's lawful use of deadly force in self-defense," the report said.
Catalan's mother, Maria Isabel Garcia, filed a claim against the city in April, saying her son was unarmed and the officers failed to take appropriate measures to control the situation.
The city rejected the claim April 17, according to city spokeswoman Laurie Frymire.