Attorney General won’t prosecute sheriff behind deadly state Capitol shooting

Attorney General won’t prosecute sheriff behind deadly state Capitol shooting
HPD investigated the scene following the shooting in Feb. 2019. (Source: HNN File)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -The Attorney General’s office has decided not to criminally prosecute a state sheriff who shot and killed a man at the state Capitol.

The shooting happened in February this year. Delmar Espejo, who was unarmed, was fatally shot after a confrontation with the sheriff.

The state previously claimed that Espejo became “physically combative” with the sheriff who tried to move him along from capitol grounds. The state alleges that Espejo was seen with alcohol.

Family members found out there would be no prosecution Monday.

Espejo’s autopsy revealed he was shot in the back.

“The newest version is that they are rolling on the ground and in self defense, the sheriff deputy put the gun to the back of Mr. Espejo and shot straight through his clothing through his body," family attorney Myles Breiner said.

Breiner said the family will go on with the civil rights lawsuit.

He said he believes the attorney general didn’t want to prosecute the sheriff because that would assist the family’s lawsuit.

The shooting raised questions about less lethal options for state sheriffs.

The state later admitted that those options were on hand, but weren’t available for use in the field.

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