SALINAS, Calif. -
Two officers involved in the shooting death of a 16-year-old in Salinas in January were cleared of any wrongdoing.
On Friday, The Monterey County District Attorney Dean D. Flippo said their investigation found the officers did not commit a crime and no charges will be filed against them.
The officers have been identified as Officer Jared Dominici, and Officer Manuel Lopez.
16-year-old Marlon Rodas was killed on January 18, 2017.
According to the DA, the officers were forced to fire their weapons after Rodas refused to listen to repeated commands to put a knife down.
Witnesses said they were afraid when they discovered the teen outside their home with the knife. He sharpened it on the ground, was acting strangely and was unresponsive. A witness then called police.
There was a 40 minute standoff before the shooting and officers even tried using high pressure water from a fire hose and deployed 40 mm baton rounds. The non-lethal methods did not work and Rodas went back into a residence.
Police again tried to use non-lethal force including a taser to disarm Rodas, but were unsuccessful.
A second taser shot temporarily subdued Rodas and police rushed into the residence and around a corner where the teen fell. As Officer Lopez turned the corner, Rodas held the knife and began to sit up raising the knife. Officer Lopez later lost his footing and fell in the house and Rodas stood up with the knife in his hand next to the officer. Officer Lopez then started shooting at the teen. Officer Dominici then came around the corner to find Lopez on the ground and Dominici aimed and fired his weapon and Lopez continued firing.
Four officers were involved, but only two fired their weapons.
The DA said Rodas had a high and potentially toxic level of methamphetamine in his system.
The DA is also revealing more about the teen’s past including pictures that lead them to believe he got caught up with a notorious street gang.
Click this link for more information on past officer-involved shootings in Salinas.