Law enforcement officers who fatally shot an armed man in Redwood City late last year will not be charged with a crime after an investigation by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office found their use of lethal force to be “a legal response” to the suspect’s conduct.
Marco Antonio Carlos, 31, was fatally shot by police in front of a Wells Fargo ATM at 1900 Broadway at about 2:35 p.m. on Dec. 30. Officers responded to calls about a man pacing back and forth with a gun. Carlos, a transient who was known to police from previous encounters, was found outside of the bank armed with a cigarette in one hand, and a .45 caliber semi-automatic firearm in the other, authorities said.
After setting up a perimeter, the officers spent 10 minutes trying to talk Carlos into surrendering peacefully, but he ignored demands to drop his weapon. According to police, despite attempts to establish a rapport and to de-escalate the situation, Carlos was not responsive and “continued to move back and forth with his finger on the trigger of the gun.”
Officers were set to deploy less lethal weapons on the suspect when, “without warning,” he “took a combative stance, raised his gun, and fired an unspecified number of shots in the direction of the officers,” according to police.
Officers and the sheriff’s deputy immediately fired back. No officers were injured.
In a letter Wednesday to the Redwood City police chief and sheriff, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the officers “are to be commended on their preparation for crises such as this one, as well as for their professionalism under such stressful circumstances.”
“Confronted by a subject who was armed and shooting, public safety required responding officers to use deadly force to protect themselves and others in the immediate vicinity,” Wagstaffe said in a letter Wednesday to Redwood City police Chief Dan Mulholland and San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos.
Bay City News contributed to this report