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DA finds shooting of former student activist ‘legally justified’ after firing on cops

Activist fired two shots at officers outside middle school

The police shooting of a former University of Oregon student has been ruled “legally justified,” according to a district attorney.

Charles Landeros, a former student activist and U.S. Army veteran, pulled a gun and fired twice at a police officer during a struggle before the officer shot Landeros in the head, the Daily Emerald reports.

In a statement, Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow found that both police officers involved in the incident were “appropriate” in their determination that Landeros, who identified with they/their/them pronouns, according to the Emerald, was causing a disturbance outside his child’s middle school Jan. 11 over a custody argument. The two officers attempted to place Landeros under arrest but he refused to leave the school premises.

The situation escalated as Landeros resisted arrest and pulled out a firearm, firing twice at the officers. Both shots missed, and one of the officers shot Landeros dead after a struggle. Two civilian witnesses confirmed Landeros shot at the officers before being killed. Landeros’ child was also a witness to the shooting.

“It is unknown why Charles Landeros chose to use deadly force in this circumstance, but he clearly had no regard for the lives of the police officers or the students or staff present, including his child,” the report states.

“There is no clearer circumstance that the use of deadly force is justified than this,” the report concludes.

It also adds that a Facebook profile with the name “Charlie Landeros” had posted threatening messages on Facebook like “Time to start killing pigs,” which was reported by an individual who told police that the profile regularly posted about “killing cops.” The FBI had also reported receiving tips about Landeros posting violent anti-government messages on social media last year.

Landeros was involved with an incident at the University of Oregon in 2017 during which a group of student activists shut down a speech by the president of the university. Landeros, at the time a senior majoring in public policy and management, gave a speech, used a bullhorn and yelled about indigenous rights, oppression and tuition increases.

Landeros served in the U.S. Army from 2006 to 2012. Landeros completed tours as a helicopter mechanic in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was honorably discharged, the Daily Emerald reported.

Read the full statement here and the Emerald’s report here.

MORE: University of Oregon faculty endorse activist shutdown of speech

MORE: Student protesters shut down UO speech to ‘stand against fascism’

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