BILLINGS, Mont. – A Montana police officer says he feared he was going to be killed and had no other choice when he fired three fatal shots at an unarmed man during a traffic stop.
Billings Police Officer Grant Morrison testified Wednesday at a coroner's inquest that he was convinced 38-year-old Richard Ramirez had a gun after Ramirez reached down to his waistband during the April encounter.
Morrison took the stand to address a seven-person jury tasked with determining if the shooting was justified or if criminal charges are warranted.
Police video showed that Morrison repeatedly ordered Ramirez and other occupants of the vehicle to raise their hands. Ramirez's actions were largely obscured in the video.
The victim's family wants criminal charges filed against the officer.
Morrison was cleared of wrongdoing in a separate fatal shooting in 2013.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
A Montana police officer is set to testify Wednesday before an inquest that will determine if his killing of an unarmed man during a traffic stop was justified.
Billings Police Officer Grant Morrison shot 38-year-old Richard Ramirez in April. Morrison was cleared of any wrongdoing in a separate fatal shooting in 2013.
He takes the stand Wednesday before a seven-person jury tasked with determining if criminal charges are warranted in the Ramirez case.
Police video and previous testimony show Morrison repeatedly ordered Ramirez to raise his hands before firing three shots.
A small amount of methamphetamine was later found near Ramirez's seat.
Ramirez's family says the shooting was unjustified.
The night before his death, Ramirez was named as the suspect in a drug-involved robbery and shooting across town.