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DA Declines to Charge Santa Ana Police Officer in Shooting Death of Unarmed Man

Prosecutors say there are insufficient evidence to prove that Officer Jessica Guidry acted unlawfully.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Posted by Alexander Nguyen

The Orange County District Attorney's Office announced Monday it would not file charges against a Santa Ana police officer who fatally shot a drunken, unarmed 22-year-old man outside a juice bar, citing her fear that he would take her gun.

Prosecutors said in a report on the July 30, 2013 shooting of Hans Kevin Arellano that there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Jessica Guidry did not act in lawful self-defense.     

"Officer Guidry believed that Arellano was going to grab her gun and that she would be in a 'fight for her life,"' said the report, adding that Arellano had come within three feet of her when she fired one round into his upper chest.

"(I)t is our legal opinion that we do not have sufficient evidence ... that Officer Guidry committed a crime," concluded Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price and Assistant District Attorney Dan Wagner.

Arellano's blood-alcohol tested at 0.26 percent, more than three times the state standard for drunken driving. The shooting was caught on at least three cameras, including the camera-phone of a witness.

According to the D.A.'s report, Arellano was one of several transients whom merchants in the Harbor Place Shopping Center had been complaining about.

On the day of the shooting, he was initially contacted by Santa Ana police Officer Stephen Chavez.

After Chavez asked him what he was doing near some dumpsters where Chavez had told some men the day before to take down a hut made of mattresses, the report said, he uttered several expletives and ran away.

Guidry, who had been monitoring police radio traffic, saw Arellano in a McDonald's parking lot at Harbor Boulevard and McFadden Avenue and initiated a pursuit.

After pulling up in front of Jugo's La Tropicana juice bar, she drew her .45-caliber Glock pistol, prosecutors said.

"She pointed at Arellano and ordered him to stop and show his hands. Arellano responded (with expletives) and 'Shoot me," according to the report.

— City News Service

Gail Neuman June 10, 2014 at 05:50 AM
Why did she have to shoot him in the chest to kill him? Why not shoot in the leg to make him fall down? Doesn't seem like the right decision was made by the OC DA.
Adrien H June 13, 2014 at 04:46 AM
There is no such thing as aiming to disable; doing so would put lives in danger. Consider if they missed or if the he didn't fall down and managed to wrestle her gun from her? When you draw your weapon you only have one chance; what if the man saw that she had drawn her weapon and decided to draw his own? At that point she had no way of knowing that he was unarmed. When an officer fires their weapon, they shoot to kill, because in theory the only time that they fire is when their own or other's lives are in danger.
Pete Finnerty June 10, 2014 at 09:55 AM
The easiest answer to your question Gail is because real life isn't a Starsky & Hutch episode.
The Beast ! June 12, 2014 at 04:41 PM
Sounds like the officer acted in a lawful manner when she believed the suspect was going to take her gun she shot him. He should have listened to the officer in the first place of this never would have happened. I have no issues with the officers actions.

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