11/21/2000

Officer cleared in mall shoplifter shooting death

PoliceOne Staff Report
(EL PASO, Tex.) -- The police department's Shooting Review Team has ruled that an officer was justified when he shot and killed an alleged shoplifter outside the Sunland Park Mall in July.

Officer Tyler Grossman, a six-year veteran, followed department procedure when he shot Raul Moreno, 34, who was dragging the officer from the passenger side window of his car, according to police.

"He knew from the start he was innocent and this is a big weight off his shoulders," Fred Haiman, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas lawyer who represents officer Tyler Grossman told the El Paso Times.

The department's findings will weigh heavily in the officer's behalf when the case now moves on to a criminal grand jury. Hearings for the case have not been scheduled.

"We anticipate it to be nothing more than a technicality now that the department cleared (Grossman)," Haiman told the Times.

The board's decision was rendered last last week. Moreno's family is now considering filing a civil suit against the officer and the department, the Times reported.

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