Travis County DA clears APD officers in shooting death of armed suspect

Two Austin police officers involved in a deadly shooting last September will not have their case presented to a grand jury.

Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday said the change in the how officer involved shootings are reviewed has changed for the good.

“If it was any type of officer involved shooting everything went to the grand jury no matter what,” said Casaday. "However, with this new District Attorney they're actually looking at cases like this one where there is no reason to take it to a grand jury because it's clear what happened," said Casaday.

Casaday said he was relieved to hear that the District Attorney's Office cleared two of his fellow officers

“A suspect was burglarizing vehicles over in southwest Austin and fired at police officers. There was no other outcome,” said Casaday.

The investigation conducted by the DA questioned whether officers in this case acted justly or in justly when shooting an armed man.

The situation unfolded a year ago, when Austin Police officers responded to a 911 call at the Sedona Springs Apartment complex in southwest Austin.

"I think I need police. There is a really strange guy.. I’m at Monterey Oaks. I think he's robbing people’s cars," said 911 caller.

According to court documents a caller reported that a suspicious man with a backpack was looking into cars, when officers arrived at the scene they were able to find the backpack but no suspect.

Shortly after officers left the scene, they received another 911 call.

"I don't see any police here the guy is back I just caught him again he got in a different car, he's got his shirt off now," said the 911 caller.

When officers arrived for the second time things took a turn for the worse.

According to Interim Police Chief Brian Manley the suspect tried to flee police and would not comply with police commands.

The suspect identified as Morgan Crocker was eventually tased by police.

Chief Manley attributed a bystander who caught what happened on cell phone video. The video was later used in the internal investigation conducted by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

“What we can see on the video is that the suspect very quickly rolls, produces a handgun and begins firing shots at our officers," said Manley.

Police said they retrieved a black hand gun from the suspect while on scene.

However, this incident was investigated by the DA’s office and Friday concluded that the investigation found that deadly force used by the officers during the shooting was indeed justified.

Officer Casaday said police do what they can to deter situations from escalating. However, they aren’t always successful.

"No officer in the right mind wakes up on a day and says I’m going to work today and kill somebody. We are happy with today's results, both of these officers are in my eyes a hero's for what they did,” said Casaday.

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