NAPA (CBS SF) – The Napa County District Attorney's office announced Friday that a sheriff's deputy will not face charges in the deadly shooting of Juan Adrian Garcia.
On the night of October 5, 2020, Sgt. Dave Ackman of the Napa County Sheriff's Office fatally shot Garcia during a traffic stop near Kaiser Road and Highway 221.
"The use of deadly force by Sergeant Ackman was a reasonable and lawful response under the totality of the circumstances," District Attorney Allison Haley said in a statement. "Therefore, the actions were legally justified and criminal charges against him are neither warranted nor supported by the evidence."
Prosecutors said Ackman pulled over Garcia shortly after 10 p.m. that night after he was spotted driving without his headlights on.
Video released by the Sheriff's Office shortly after the shooting showed Garcia exiting his car and approaching Ackman while keeping his hands behind his back. According to a sheriff's account at the time, the deputy tried to de-escalate the situation for nearly a minute by retreating and repeatedly telling Garcia to stop and show his hands.
"These aggressive actions were highly unusual for a routine traffic stop and Sgt. Ackman was instantly in fear for his life," Haley said.
When Garcia got close to Ackman, the deputy shot him several times. Deputies administered CPR and first aid to Garcia at the scene, but he died the following night.
According to prosecutors, Garcia was not armed and had a blood alcohol level of .312%, nearly four times the legal limit.
The district attorney's office said Ackman "reasonably believed" that Garcia was armed and was an "imminent threat" to his life.
"Although he was in fact unarmed, it appeared that Mr. Garcia wanted to initiate a deadly encounter with the sergeant," Haley said.
At the time of his death, Garcia was facing trial in Napa County in connection with a DUI crash in which his 5-year-old son was in the vehicle. He had six other DUI convictions dating back to 1993.
Prosecutors said a review of Garcia's previous traffic stops showed him never leaving his vehicle and that he was "largely cooperative with investigative efforts."
The district attorney's office has posted their full report on the shooting (.pdf) on their website.
for more features.