CLOVIS, NM (KFDA) - A panel of district attorneys found that the officer involved shooting of a suspect by Clovis Police Officer Brent Aquilar was justified, according to Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb.
Officials say Aguilar tried to stop a vehicle that had been stolen by 22-year-old Aaron Joseph Chavez.
Police say Chavez fled from the vehicle and a chase on foot ensued.
During the pursuit, Clovis police say the officer shot Chavez and he was declared dead.
In the interview, Aguilar said he and other officers were attempting to stop a stolen vehicle driven by Chavez.
Aguilar went on to say that Chavez got out of the car and ran from police. During the chase, Aguilar said he saw another officer fall and yell, “He has something in his hands.”
As he was running toward Chavez, Aguilar said he saw Chavez reach into his right pocket and pull out what he believed to be a knife and began swinging it around.
This prompted Aguilar to fire his weapon, striking and killing Chavez.
Police say a chainsaw blade was found lying next to Chavez.
Reeb said on April 11, “I received the decision from the panel last Friday, unanimously agreeing that no criminal prosecution should be initiated against Officer Aguilar relating to his use of deadly force against Aaron Chavez."
Through Chavez’s families counsel, Reeb said they have received a copy of the findings and, "The sympathy I feel for Aaron Chavez and his family cannot determine the outcome of the decision whether to criminally charge someone.”