POSTED: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 11:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:34pm
A grand jury has decided not to charge a Harlingen police officer for shooting and killing a 40 year old homeless man.
The Cameron District Attorney's office said Wendsday the case involving including police officer Jose Chapa who according to the police reports shot Diego Rivas Soto is no bill case meaning no charges will be filed against hiim other officers on scene.
The shooting happened back on January 5th on the 700 block of North Expressway under an underpass. Harlingen police responded to the underpass after a man allegedly started a fire. Police say they tried communicating with the man several times and he would not cooperate. They say the man then lunged at an officer with a knife and that's when Harlingen police say they tried using a taser which did not work. Then officer Chapa opened fire.
The Cameron County DA's says after evidence brought forth the grand jury Chapa's actions were legal and lawful.
Juan Guerra is former the Willacy county prosecutor and is representing the Soto family. Guerra says he filed a pre trail petition discovery. Guerra says that means he is now able look at evidence and statements regarding this case.
"It's our turn to see if in fact we agree wit the grand jury and if we don't and he used excessive force then will will continue and file a civil lawsuit."
Guerra says within 10 ten days they will decide whether not to file a civil case. We tried contacting Harlingen chief Daniel Castillo for a comment as of news time he did not turn our calls.