LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it will not charge the Lancaster City police officer who shot and killed Ricardo Munoz on Sept. 13.
District Attorney Heather Adams made the announcement saying that the officer was justified in the use of deadly force.
“Based on my review of the facts and the applicable law there is no question, no question, the officer was justified in the use of deadly force against Ricardo Munoz on September 13,” Adams said.
Adams said Munoz presented an imminent threat that “was beyond reasonable”.
Adams said her investigation showed the officer feared for his life as Munoz charged at him with a knife, and she said the officer didn’t have time to use de-escalation tactics.
Adams replayed the body camera footage from the officer, which Lancaster Police had released just hours after the shooting. The video, which Adams cut off before the officer fires the fatal shots, showed Munoz running out of his family’s Laurel Street home cursing, with a knife over his head.
Adams said it was only four seconds from the time Munoz left the home until the officer fired four shots at Munoz.
“I would submit to you that four shots was restraint given the imminent threat that Munoz presented that very day,” Adams said. “Weather it be a police officer, or a citizen they would have been justified in using deadly force in that situation.”
Adams also played the 9-1-1 call the Munoz family made. Adams stressed the family called for police assistance.
Immediately after Adam’s announcement the Munoz maintained that they called to get Munoz, a paranoid schizophrenic, help.
The Munoz family said they called crisis intervention in Lebanon County, Lancaster Police, and 9-1-1.
“We called for help,” Rulennis Munoz, Ricardo’s sister, said. “We didn’t call for bullets.”
An attorney for the Munoz family said he plans to launch an independent investigation into the the shooting.
Munoz’s death was followed by riots where windows of the police department were smashed, fires were set, and neighboring businesses also had windows broken.
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