No grand jury indictments in 3 police shootings last year
Harris County grand juries have recently declined to indict three area police officers, including two rookies with less than a year on duty, involved in shooting crime suspects last year. One of the shootings was fatal.
A grand jury last Thursday declined to indict two Pasadena patrolmen who fired several rounds and killed a man accused of pointing a pistol at them last Aug. 9 after he allegedly robbed a restaurant at gunpoint.
At the time, Cesar Ibarra had been on the force for five months and Damon Drey was a 12-year veteran.
Alerted by employee
The shooting occurred at the Denny's at Texas 225 and Richey about 3 a.m. A restaurant worker alerted police that he saw a customer point a gun at the night manager's head, steal money and dash out of the eatery.
When three Pasadena officers arrived, the man had been last seen walking away from a pickup parked close to the restaurant's driveway toward the back of a nearby strip mall.
According to the authorities, the man aimed a gun at officers as they approached him. That's when Ibarra and Drey fired at 42-year-old David Christian Ufert. He died at the scene. Police found $280 near Ufert's body and later discovered that the pickup had been reported stolen from Baytown.
On March 1, a grand jury declined to indict Houston patrolman Eric Athmejvar, who wounded a man accused of trying to run over the officer while fleeing last September.
The incident began when Edward Tremayne Jamison allegedly used his vehicle to block a woman driving down the street and approached her with a pistol. The woman was able to get away and call police. Jamison returned to the scene as officers were speaking with her, authorities said.
27 incidents last year
After ignoring police commands to stop his vehicle, Jamison tried to run over Athmejvar in the 1300 block of West Donovan while trying to get away, authorities said. That's when the officer fired several times and wounded Jamison.
Already on parole, Jamison was charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant, felony evading and felon in possession of a weapon. He was indicted in November on all four counts. The 35-year-old remains in the Harris County jail without bail.
Athmejvar, 24 at the time of the shooting, joined the Houston Police Department in January 2010.
According to figures provided by HPD, the city's police officers were involved in 27 shootings last year in which seven civilians were killed and 20 were wounded.
Six other incidents in which police discharged their weapons did not result in injuries.
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