LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4)- The 8th Judicial District Attorney has decided that no criminal charges will be filed against the Loveland police officer involved in the shooting of Alex Domina. Domina, 19, died at the Medical Center of the Rockies hospital in Loveland on Tuesday, three weeks after being shot in his backyard.
The shooting happened on Aug. 16 after Domina's grandmother, his legal guardian, called 911. She reported that Domina was acting erratic, breaking things in her home and refusing to calm down. She did tell dispatch that he was experiencing a mental crisis and could be calmed down. However, she said he was too big for her to handle.
When the first officer arrived on the scene, Domina's grandmother approached him and said Domina had a knife.
The officer, in body camera footage, is seen entering the backyard where Domina was breaking things. The officer calmly asked Domina to drop the knife several times. The officer is also heard telling Domina he just wanted to speak with him.
Eventually, after breaking doors and other items outside, Domina starts walking toward the officer.
The officer draws his weapon and orders Domina to stop multiple times.
When Domina came within feet of the officer the officer fired his gun multiple times, three of which struck Domina in the abdomen.
Domina underwent multiple surgeries after the shooting, but wasn't able to recover. His family released a statement on Wednesday that read in part:
After three weeks on life support, five surgeries, and constant infections, Alex Domina passed away yesterday afternoon. His family expresses their deepest gratitude for the community that has supported them through this ordeal. ... Alex's family's greatest hope is that his tragic shooting will inspire mental health training for all Colorado officers so that no other family loses a loved one as they lost Alex.
A celebration of life ceremony for Domina is scheduled to take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Crossroads Church. That's located at 5420 North Taft Avenue in Loveland.
The officer involved in the shooting, Eddie Luzon, was on paid administrative leave during the investigation into the shooting.
Gordon P. McLaughlin, the 8th Judicial District Attorney, released a statement about the decision not to file charges. He released a statement that read, in part, "Mr. Domina's death was a tragedy. The legal analysis must begin at the point Officer Luzon was confronted with a man wielding a knife and closing quickly. However, a broader analysis of alternatives leading up to that point may have shown opportunities to have avoided this outcome. While a District Attorney only has the authority to decide the appropriateness of criminal charges, a legal justification is not a moral clearance to avoid reform."
The statement continued, "While police are often used as a last resort, the burden cannot fall solely on a responding officer who did not have the knowledge provided by the subsequent investigation, including the depth of Mr. Domina's cognitive disabilities, which even previous behavioral health intervention had failed to safely resolve. However, it is my since hope that this tragedy will spark deep thought and reflection from the Loveland Police Department and Loveland city leaders regarding how best to reform their current practices to better address calls for behavioral health crises, provide alternative means of emergency response, and strive to meet modern community expectations to reduce future harm and build trust with our fellow citizens."
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