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Durham officer cleared in suspect's shooting

Posted June 13, 2008

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— A Durham police officer has been cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of a suspect in a December burglary.

Officer Jesus Sandoval Jr. was responding to a break-in call in the 500 block of Holloway Street on Dec. 29 when he confronted an armed man coming out of a house, police said.

The man dropped the gun when ordered to do so, but two men in a Ford Taurus parked behind the house drove at Sandoval and another officer, police said. One of the officers suffered minor injuries when the car hit him in the leg.

Sandoval fired shots at the vehicle as he jumped out of the way, hitting the driver, Raul Aldana Rivadeneyra, police said. The car continued down Holloway Street, striking an SUV near Mangum Street, flipping over and colliding with another car before coming to a stop.

Rivadeneyra was pronounced dead at the scene, and authorities said a gunshot wound was the cause of death.

The State Bureau of Investigation reviewed the incident, and Durham County District Attorney David Saacks issued a statement Thursday clearing Sandoval. He said Rivadeneyra's decision to drive toward the officers created "a legitimate deadly threat" that justified the officer's decision to shoot and kill him.

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  • lizard Jun 13, 2008

    If he had worked for Raleigh PD they would have fired him for shooting at someone trying to run over him. Raleigh's lawyer said it was their policy/desire to let them go and catch them later. The lawyer had no comment about the future illegal activities however of those that are let go for the public to deal with unitl they decided to give up.

  • Pac-Man Jun 13, 2008

    Welcome back, brother!

  • unc83 Jun 13, 2008

    I am glad it was a good shooting. I can't imagine being a cop and having to decide to shoot someone or not. I would probably have a quick trigger finger!!

  • mramorak Jun 13, 2008

    Thank you !

  • 68_polara Jun 13, 2008

    It's to bad cops are presumed guilty until they prove otherwise these days. One would have to be crazy to be one, too little pay and to many lawyers with nothing better to do than to second guess every action they have to take to perform their duty.