Office of the Attorney General completes independent review into the use of deadly force
Attorney General Edward Manibusan reports the completion of a review of the March 12, 2020, shooting incident that involved the death of Gordon Castro and Keisha King and the use of deadly force by law enforcement.
“The community deserves to know what happened,” said Attorney General Manibusan. “When officers use deadly force against a person, there should be an independent, detailed review of what happened and an evaluation of whether those officers acted within the law. This review focuses on whether the officers were criminally responsible for the use of deadly force.”
The Criminal Division of the Office of the Attorney General headed by Chief Prosecutor John Bradley, had been assigned to conduct an independent review of the incident. With the assistance of the Attorney General Investigative Division, the office conducted an independent evaluation of the actions of DPS officers, who used deadly force in attempting to arrest Castro.
The six-page report details the lengthy violent criminal history of Castro, the relevant laws related to using deadly force, and the relevant facts of Castro escaping arrest for a felony warrant and using King as a hostage. Chief Prosecutor Bradley concluded that a team of five DPS officers were justified in arming themselves and using deadly force against Castro after he began firing at them when they attempted to arrest him.
“I support Chief Bradley’s conclusion that the officers were legally justified in using deadly force,” says Attorney General Manibusan.
The report also recommends that Legislature look at restricting the release of repeat violent offenders on bond and the improvement of civil commitment and mental health treatment. Castro, who had a history of mental illness, was on felony probation and had been released on two felony drug charges at the time he escaped from officers and fired at them with a handgun.
AG Manibusan has shared the report with Governor Ralph DLG. Torres, Lt. Governor Arnold Palacios and DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero. The report recommends the development of more detailed laws and regulations on the use of deadly force by police officers.
The investigative reports, documents and other materials used in preparing the report remain confidential through government disclosure, medical and mental health laws.