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District attorney clears officer involved in shooting near High School in Las Cruces

Man in officer-involved shooting tried grabbing gun after officers ordered him not to (Source: Las Cruces Police Department)

The Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office said that after reviewing evidence from Sept. 27, 2018, shooting near a local high school in Las Cruces, they have concluded that the use of force was justified and no action will be taken against the four officers.

Lapel camera video from the incident showed that 32-year-old Juan Angel Pinedo failed to obey multiple commands and lunged toward a handgun the moment before officers discharged their weapons.

Pinedo died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Pinedo had an active felony warrant for his arrest from a shooting that occurred six days prior.

On Sept. 21, Pinedo was accused of being armed with a black handgun that he pointed at his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend on the 200 block of Reymond Street.

The ex-girlfriend intervened and Pinedo drove away.

Witnesses indicated that as Pinedo drove away, he fired two rounds into the air.

Investigators looking into the shooting discovered that Pinedo had an active order of protection against him that prohibited him from possessing a handgun.

A felony warrant was issued Sept. 22 for Pinedo’s arrest. The ex-girlfriend also reported hearing gunshots near her backyard during the early-morning hours of Sept. 24.

Lapel camera showed that officers gave at least 11 commands for Pinedo to raise his hands and step away from the handgun that was on the ground a few feet behind the suspect.

Investigators said that instead of continuing to comply with officers’ commands, Pinedo quickly lowered his hands, turned around and lunged toward the handgun. All four officers fired multiple rounds.

The four officers were placed on administrative leave as standard protocol. They all have since returned to their regular duty.

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