Officer Cooperating Fully in Investigation Into Fatal Shooting: Farmers Branch Police Chief

Officer, attorney cooperating fully with shooting investigations, chief says

The chiefs for the Addison and Farmers Branch police departments confirmed few new details Tuesday in the investigations into an off-duty officer-involved shooting that killed 16-year-old burglary suspect Jose Raul Cruz, but did say the investigations are moving forward with the full cooperation of the officer and his attorney.

Farmers Branch Chief of Police Sid Fuller said the Addison Police Department is first conducting the criminal investigation into the shooting and that their internal investigation will take place afterward.

Addison Chief of Police Paul Spencer confirmed the preliminary findings in the case without revealing much new information. He said his department is investigating the shooting as they would any other, in cooperation with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, but that they are also working with the DA's Public Integrity Unit.

"Our goal is to conduct a thorough and accurate investigation and that takes time," Spencer said. "As soon as we have additional details to share we will make them available to the public."

Both chiefs confirmed that Farmers Branch Police Officer Ken Johnson said he saw two people burglarizing his vehicle as we worked off-duty as a courtesy officer at an apartment complex.

Johnson intervened and the two men fled, officials said. Johnson got into his personal vehicle and chased the pair to the intersection of Marsh Lane and Spring Valley Road, where they spun out. An altercation took place, shots were fired and both of the men were hit.

Cruz was killed at the scene while the second person was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not life threatening. While police have not identified the second teen shot, his family has identified him as 16-year-old Edgar Rodriguez, a friend of Cruz.

Spencer, speaking of the shooting investigation, would not say whether either of the burglary suspects were armed.

An attorney who represents Johnson, Chris Livingston, told NBC 5 the shooting was justified because Johnson "felt that he was in fear of his life."

"And he felt justified in pulling the trigger and felt that was the only course of action that he had to take," explained Livingston.

Livingston told NBC 5 Tuesday that the officer used his duty weapon in the shooting.

Fuller confirmed Tuesday that department policy prohibits off-duty officers from pursuing suspects in their personal vehicle, but didn't elaborate on any other details of the department's investigation.

Johnson, who is on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation, is expected to provide a detailed statement to his department in the coming days. Separately, Johnson was expected to provide a written statement to the Addison Police Department by the end of the day Tuesday.

Fuller said Johnson, who has no disciplinary record, and his attorney are cooperating fully in the investigations.

Meanwhile, Cruz's friends and family members made an emotional plea for answers Monday night.

"They took my son’s life away," Ana Henriquez shouted through tears, clutching a photograph of her 16-year-old son Jose Cruz. "Why? Why God?"

Tuesday night family and friends solicited donations from cars passing by his Dallas home, "Dollar!" a friend named Juan yelled at passing cars. "Thank you. God bless."

"Why my cousin? Why him," asked Nora Rubi through tears. "He'd always tell me, 'I want my family together,' and now that we're together, he's not with us."

Both Fuller and Spencer met with Cruz's family Tuesday morning and explained the processes for the investigations. The family said they understood the investigation into the shooting would take time.

NBC 5's Jocelyn Lockwood and Noelle Walker contributed to this report.

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