SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A grand jury has unanimously found a Salem police officer justified in killing 30-year-old Rudy Martinez-Cortez in October.
The hearing involving officer Andrew Parsons included testimony from Oregon State Police detectives, Salem police officers and civilian witnesses, the Statesman Journal reported.
According to a summary of the grand jury findings provided by the Marion County District Attorney’s Office Parsons on Oct. 29 saw a Honda Civic with no front license plate and when Parsons made a turn to follow the Civic pulled away “at a high rate of speed.”
Parsons followed as the Civic continued until the front axle broke, making the car stop.
The driver, Martinez-Cortez, fled on foot and as Parsons he chased him, he said he saw that Martinez-Cortez had a handgun.
Parsons ordered Martinez-Cortez to get on the ground, but the man kept running and entered someone’s backyard, according to the summary. Parsons drew his weapon as he entered the backyard.
Parsons reported seeing Martinez-Cortez pointing his gun at him before Martinez-Cortez fired and a bullet grazed Parsons’ ankle, going through his pant leg. Parsons then fired 27 times, hitting Martinez-Cortez seven times, according to the grand jury.
According to the summary, a pistol was found near Martinez-Cortez’s body and all of its ammunition had been fired.
“Bullets recovered at the scene were consistent with Martinez and Parsons firing at each other,” according to the summary.
The Marion County District Attorney’s Office said investigators found drug paraphernalia and about a pound of methamphetamine in the Honda Civic.