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Investigators: Shooting was justified

June 04, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

Imperial County Homicide Task Force investigators are saying the officer-involved shooting last week in which an El Centro police officer shot and wounded a suspect was justified.

Investigators plan to submit a report today to the District Attorney's Office asking for an assault with a deadly weapon charge against the man shot by the officer.

The shooting occurred on March 28 as two patrol officers responded to a call in the 1200 block of Hamilton Avenue shortly before midnight.


A woman had called police stating a man thought by investigators to be the woman's on-again, off-again boyfriend was trying to get into her apartment.

When officers arrived they found John Jordan, 40, of El Centro hiding behind a porch partition, according to sheriff's Sgt. Manuel Garcia, the lead investigator assigned in the case with the Homicide Task Force.

Garcia said two officers, who he has declined to identify until charges are filed, ordered Jordan to get up from where he was hiding and remove the contents of his pockets. Jordan allegedly did not comply.

The officers then used pepper spray on him, but he still would not comply. That is when a scuffle started with Jordan, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and about 225 pounds, according to Garcia.

Jordan grabbed a police baton from one of the officers and pushed away both officers. Garcia alleged Jordan then moved to attack the officers with the baton, raising it over his head as if to strike them.

At that point one officer opened fire on Jordan, shooting him twice — once in the abdomen and once in the chest. Jordan underwent surgery at El Centro Regional Medical Center, where he remains in stable condition.

Garcia said based on the investigation, the officer had little choice but to fire on Jordan.

He added, "It's now up to the DA to give us a complaint or not."

The officers involved in the scuffle have been placed on administrative leave with pay as the Police Department conducts its own internal investigation into the shooting.

Police Department officials have declined to release the names of the two officers.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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