Suspect’s death opens door for charges

NC_paradiseshooting1221_700x394Paradise, Calif. — (KNVN) Andrew Thomas, the drunken driving suspect shot by a Paradise, California police officer on November 26, has died.

The shooting has garnered national headlines after Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey released dashcam video showing Officer Patrick Feaster firing at an unarmed Thomas following a rollover crash.

Ramsey said on December 10 that his office will not seek charges against Feaster after investigators found the shooting to be accidental. Ramsey said the shooting was likely negligent, but not criminal. He also said during the news conference that if Thomas had died, involuntary manslaughter would have been considered.

Thomas’ death will likely change that.

Ramsey has released a statement reading in part: “With Mr. Thomas’ unfortunate death we will now look to see if there is criminal negligence to go forth with a criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter. The theory of a criminal charge was not available without death.”

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