LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Two officers responding to a report of break-ins who became involved in a fatal shooting in early January were cleared by a third-party review.
Lubbock Police said following the shooting the officers were placed on administrative leave until the investigation and review could be completed.
On January 14, a jury reviewed the facts of the case presented by Prosecutors with the Lubbock County District Attorney’s office.
The shooting took place in South Lubbock early Sunday morning, January 5.
Police were initially called to a report of people breaking into cars and houses in the 3600 block of 96th Street at 5:37 a.m. Police were told the suspect was pulling on door handles to check for unlocked vehicles. Callers said they saw him on external security cameras.
The suspect was identified as 30-year-old Drew Nichols Wallace-Flores.
The suspect ran from officers when they found him, fleeing on foot westbound on 94th Street toward Orlando Avenue.
As the officer and subject neared the intersection, a second officer arrived on scene. Police said Wallace-Flores fired a handgun at the first officer, and both officers returned fire. Wallace-Flores was pronounced deceased at the scene. Neither officer sustained injuries from gunfire.
Lubbock Police Captain Ray Mendoza provided this summary on Sunday morning:
“At about 5:37 this morning, officers responded to a call in the 3600 block of 96th street in response to a call of a subject burglarizing vehicles and homes. The suspect was pulling on door handles to check for unlocked vehicles."
“Two officers responded to the scene. As they arrived, they found the suspect in the 3600 block of 96th Street. Once they had him a little bit contained, the suspect actually opened fire on the officers. The officers returned fire and the suspect was shot and is deceased,” Captain Mendoza told KCBD. “The two officers who were involved are not injured. They’re okay and they will be placed on administrative leave as a standard procedure until the investigation is complete.”
In a news conference a day after the shooting, Lubbock Police chief Floyd Mitchell stated based on the initial investigation, they believed the officer’s use of deadly force in the defense of themselves or others was within the procedures of the Lubbock Police Department, as well as the law.
Chief Mitchell stated the first officer is a detective with 9 years on the Lubbock Police force, the second officer a corporal and 12 year veteran with LPD.
Lubbock Police has not yet confirmed whether or not the officers are still on administrative leave.