SWAT shots fired at Guerena 'reasonable and justified'
Pima County Attorney's office vindicates SWAT team
By PoliceOne Staff
PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — The SWAT officers who fired the 70 or so shots that killed Jose Guerena in his house, bringing extensive media coverage after video footage of the shooting was released, will not be prosecuted for their actions.
Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall stated that "Under the circumstances, and based upon our review of all the available evidence, we have concluded that the use of deadly forces by the SWAT Team members was reasonable and justified under the law," according to the ruling.
On May 5, SWAT officers shot Guerena at his house while serving a search warrant. More than 70 shots were fired, and Guerena was killed. Guerena himself never fired a shot, although the Sheriff's Department reports that officers found a rifle with the safety on at the scene.
According to the local news channel that has reported on the ruling, the Attorney's Office found that the SWAT officers felt they were in danger when Guerena raised his weapon in their direction.
More evidence came forward that added to the SWAT officers' case When it was revealed that when the shooting began, an officer fell to the ground, so the other officers assumed Guerena had shot him. Furthermore, the Attorney's Office confirmed that the SWAT team identified themselves when they arrived at Guerena's house.
The Guerena family was originally under investigation because of suspected involvement in a large-scale drug trafficking operation.