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Fontana police officer cleared in 2016 fatal shooting of Apple Valley man

By in Press Enterprise on November 2, 2017

By Stephen Ramirez

An off-duty Fontana police officer who shot and killed a man who authorities say was intruding on the officer’s property in Apple Valley in 2016 was cleared of wrongdoing Thursday, Nov. 2, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said.

The officer, whose name was not released due to security concerns, shot and killed 26-year-old Vincent Avila shortly before 6 a.m. March 16, 2016, a district attorney’s news release said. Authorities say that Avila had taken items from the officer’s home.

“The actions of the officer were appropriate and justified based on the law of self defense, defense of one’s home and a peace officer’s right to detain and arrest,” a report submitted by District Attorney Michael Ramos said.

“Having realized that Avila possessed a firearm and reasonably fearing for his life, the officer fired his handgun twice at the left shoulder of Avila to prevent Avila from pulling his gun and shooting the officer,” the report added.

The incident occurred the morning after the officer and his family had returned from vacation, the report said.

The officer, who had twice been awoken by his dog that night, woke up to an alarm March 16, 2016, and noticed at 5:30 a.m. that several items he had placed on his kitchen counter were missing, including a backpack containing his off-duty gun.

The officer then grabbed his duty weapon and went outside to check his front yard. There, he saw Avila wearing a black ski mask near his garage, the report said.

The officer then pointed the gun at Avila and asked him to show his hands. Avila did not comply and walked toward the officer. The officer again asked Avila to show his hands and again Avila did not comply, according to the report.

Instead, Avila told him, “Hey, I know who did this. I was just […]    

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