San Jose

Prosecutors Deem 2015 Fatal San Jose Police Shooting Justifiable

Two San Jose police officers who fatally shot a 22-year-old gang member in August 2015 will not face criminal charges, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced on Thursday.

Edrian Rivera, an alleged associate of the San Jose Crazy Crips gang who was on parole for attempted murder and armed with a large butcher's cleaver, was shot and killed by officers Timothy Faye and Adam Dorn just after 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2015, near 230 Packing Place.

The shooting took place roughly an hour after Rivera allegedly stabbed another man in the vicinity of Virginia Avenue and 34th Street around 6:20 p.m., according to police.

The stabbing suspect had fled the scene in a light blue Toyota sedan and the officers were conducting surveillance at 288 Preservation Drive, an address associated with that vehicle, when they spotted Rivera, who matched the suspect's description.

They attempted to stop Rivera, who fled around the corner to Packing Place.

When they confronted Rivera, he drew the cleaver from his waistband and said, "F--- this s---," raised the weapon over his head and advanced toward Dorn, who opened fire, according to a 24-page report released today on the officer-involved shooting.

Faye ran up to Rivera, who had fallen down, and ordered him to drop the cleaver. Rivera swung the weapon, forcing Faye to step back, and both officers opened fire, according to the report. Rivera was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dorn fired a total of four rounds while Faye fired six. All 10 rounds struck Rivera, wounding his scalp, back, abdomen, shoulder, chest and arms. Rivera also suffered possible incisions to his right hand. 

Neither officer was equipped with a body-worn camera.

"Officers Dorn and Faye were justified in using deadly force because they reasonably feared for their lives and the life of their fellow officer," prosecutor Jim Demertzis said in the report.

Specifically, Dorn believed his life was in danger because Rivera was brandishing the cleaver nearby in an aggressive fashion and his body armor might not stop a stabbing instrument, prosecutors said.

Faye believed his life was in danger because of Rivera's proximity and because the cleaver could inflict serious injury or death.

According to prosecutors, the killing was not only justified as part of the officers' official duties, but also as a lawful use of self-defense.

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