Schenectady officers cleared of charges in shooting - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Schenectady officers cleared of charges in shooting

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The criminal case has been dropped against three Schenectady Police officers involved in a shooting last year, Schenectady County District Attorney Bob Carney announced Tuesday.

32-year-old Luis Rivera was killed August 12, 2011 during an officer-involved shooting around 4:30 p.m. on State Street, near Grove Place.

Tuesday, Carney announced the grand jury cleared the officers of any wrong-doing, saying they were justified in using deadly force against Rivera.

Calls went in to Schenectady Police that afternoon saying there was a man in the area with a gun. Officers Kevin Rayball and Michael Wood, and Sgt. William Fennel responded to the scene and attempted to arrest Rivera once they could tell he was armed.

Rivera then resisted and began to run away, causing the three city officers to open fire when they say Rivera reached for his gun. Officers fired a total of 14 shots in just over 4 seconds.

At some point during the incident, Rivera threw the gun he was armed with before collapsing a short time later. Witnesses gave differentiating statements of when the gun was thrown.

Rivera was dead after being shot once in the back and once in the back of the leg as he ran away from the officers. The officers involved were put on administrative leave after the incident.

All three officers voluntarily testified in front of the grand jury on what happened. An dash-cam tape was obtained of the incident, and given to the jury as evidence as well.

Police say they felt Rivera was a threat to the public at that time.

Carney says Tuesday it took so long to release findings because of an inter-office issue, and he wanted citizen review of all the evidence first.

Rivera's family has retained an attorney and may pursue civil/wrongful death lawsuit case.

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