Prosecutors Conclude Long Beach Officer Acted in Self-Defense in 2015 Fatal Shooting of Unarmed College Student

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A Long Beach fire captain who witnessed a city police officer fire on an unarmed college student in 2015 told investigators the young man was under the influence of drugs but not acting violently during the fatal encounter in which he and other witnesses shouted for the officer not to shoot the victim.

Feras Morad, 20, is seen on a protestor's sign. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Feras Morad, 20, is seen on a protestor’s sign. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Fire Capt. Robert Griego said that he was shocked when Officer Matthew Hernandez drew a gun and that he yelled, ‘Hey, don’t shoot him,’ before Feras Morad, 20, was struck and killed. Griego told detectives his fire crew at the scene would have intervened had he felt that Hernandez was in danger. But the officer never acknowledged the fire crew during the May 27, 2015, altercation, Griego said.

Griego’s statement was included in a 31-page report released Tuesday by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, which found insufficient evidence the officer committed a crime and concluded he acted in self-defense.

The report documents a deadly encounter that lasted less than three minutes, with several witnesses, including Griego and two other firefighters, providing a detailed account of the incident.

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