Prosecutors are declining to charge Paradise, Calif., Officer Patrick Feaster, who shot 26-year-old Andrew Thomas as the man emerged from his wrecked SUV.
Prosecutors called the shooting an accident, saying Feaster “did not intentionally fire his pistol” and that “he was in shock at the scene and not certain his weapon had actually discharged.”
But they have no explanation for why it took Feaster 11 minutes to report that he had fired his gun.
“The 11 minutes waiting to notify is awful. Regardless, can we prove a case of intentional discharge of that weapon beyond a reasonable doubt? We could not,” District Attorney Mike Ramsey said.
Feaster has been with the Paradise Police Department since 2010. He may still face some punishment from an internal investigation that is ongoing.
Thomas, whose blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit, is facing charges. His wife was ejected from the window and died at the scene. The man might also be paralyzed for life from the waist down as a result of the shooting.