The Peoria officer-involved shooting of 19-year-old Luis Cruz over the summer was ruled as justified by State’s Attorney Jerry Brady.
After an investigation, Brady said officer Ryan Isonhart acted in self defense, and fatally shooting Cruz, who ran from police after a chase, was not using excessive force.
However, Brady did express doubts regarding why the chase and shooting happened how they did.
Cruz was shot and killed July 19 after his vehicle was stopped for a traffic stop just after midnight that night, when Cruz ran from the car. Police said Cruz had a handgun on them, and began to turn towards them.
Autopsy results showed Cruz was struck by bullets in the head, arm and leg.
Five officers were placed on paid leave following the shooting.
Peoria Police Department Chief of Police Loren Marion issued a statement, saying he respects the process and the law. He said Isonhart acted in accordance with the law, and that he will return to full duty.
I trust and respect the process, and the law. During the process, I was confident that Officer Isonhart acted legally, responsibly, and professionally. Peoria Police Officers are trained to respond to a variety of situations, some of which may put their lives, or lives of others, in jeopardy such as this incident. Officer Isonhart acted in accordance with the law and his training. Officer Isonhart will return to full duty.
Brady discussed his findings at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Peoria County Courthouse. The Illinois State Place were involved in the investigation.
NAACP President Pastor Marvin Hightower supported the Cruz family at Thursday’s press conference. He says. The the findings did not shock him but questions why the chase had to end violently.
“What’s not clear and what seems to be a lot of gray is the reason he ended up dead,” said Hightower. He explained, “ The reports are not really lining up, all we have is what the police have said and reports that were submitted but even those reports had a few conflicts in them.”