Officers Who Shot Unarmed Man 16 Times Will Not Face Criminal Charges

| by Jonathan Constante

Two officers who shot an unarmed man 16 times in his Auburn, Washington, home will not face criminal charges due to “insufficient evidence,” The Seattle Times reports.

The incident occurred Feb. 11, 2012. King County Deputy Aaron Thompson and corrections officer Kristopher Rongen were serving a warrant for the arrest of a different man when they encountered Dustin Theoharis in a darkened bedroom.

Thompson and Rongen fired 16 shots at Theoharis while he was laying in bed. The officers claimed that Theoharis said he had three guns and was reaching under the mattress.

Theoharis, 31, disputed those claims in a federal suit, alleging that the officers shot him after asking for identification. The victim claimed he was reaching for his wallet when 16 shots were fired to his face, arm, legs and abdomen.

Although Theoharis was able to win a $3 million settlement from King County in 2013, Rongen and Thompson were not charged with any crimes. The Prosecutor’s Office declined to charge both officers in 2012, citing refusals by both the officers and Theoharis to provide statements at the time.

The Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement released on Friday that because there is no new information regarding the incident, they will not bring criminal charges against the officers.

“We have reviewed the depositions and other documents from the civil case, including the recent ruling from the Federal court presiding over the civil lawsuit,” the statement read. “We did not find any new information that would change our legal analysis.

“There remains insufficient evidence that the officers were acting with malice or in bad faith when they used deadly force. The State would not be able to disprove the justifiable use of deadly force beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, we are unable to file criminal charges.”

Theoharis is still recovering from his injuries and is no longer able to work, according to his attorney.

Sources: The Seattle Times, KiroTV / Photo Credit: KiroTV