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05-03-06, 10:45 AM #1
DA clears police officer who killed armed man
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has ruled that a San Diego police officer was justified in fatally shooting a Sorrento Mesa man who lied about having a gun.
In a letter to Police Chief William Lansdowne released Monday, Dumanis said the actions of Officer Elmer Edwards on Feb. 11 were “reasonable and justified under the circumstances and that he bears no criminal liability.”
Edwards and Officer Samantha Fleming were responding to a report of shots being fired near Camino Santa Fe and Mesa Ridge Court when they encountered Michael Eli Kreca, 43, walking on Camino Santa Fe. They said they asked him whether he had a weapon, and he said no.
As the officers tried to conduct a pat-down search, one of them saw a handgun in Kreca's waistband and tried to handcuff him. He struggled, saying, “No, you're not going to do that,” according to Dumanis' letter.
During the struggle, Kreca tried to pull out his gun, whereupon Edwards drew his weapon and told Kreca, “Don't try to reach for your gun or I will shoot you,” Dumanis said in her letter.
Edwards said that when he felt the gun come out of Kreca's waistband, he put the muzzle of his own weapon on Kreca's chest and fired twice.
Kreca was pronounced dead about 9:35 a.m., shortly after the shooting.
An empty 9 mm semiautomatic pistol in Kreca's possession was recovered on the street near his body.
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