Thu February 24, 2011
APD Officer Not Indicted in October Shooting
A Travis County Grand Jury voted not to indict an Austin police officer in connection with the fatal shooting of a teen in South Austin last fall.
APD officer Derrick Bowman fired 14 rounds at Devin Contreras, who was running away from a Big Lots! store on William Cannon Dr. early in the morning of October 1. Contreras was hit four times, according to Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Bowman told investigators that he believed Contreras had fired a shot and appeared to be preparing to fire again, when the officer started shooting. After Bowman and other officers reached Contreras after he was shot, officers said they found a loaded .38-caliber handgun underneath his body.
Initially, APD Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that Contreras had fired at Bowman, but later that same day said that Contreras had not fired.
"The Grand Jury's job was to determine whether this was a justified shooting. And, given all the evidence, they believed that obviously Officer Bowman didn't have to wait to be shot at before he could defend himself. And they heard from all the witnesses, read reports and took their time and determined this was not a criminal act," Lehmberg told reporters in a news conference this afternoon.
One other person, John Michael Rodriguez, has been charged in connection with the burglary of the Big Lots! store.