No Criminal Charges for Police Who Shot Alleged Cop Killer Shawn LaBeet
Photo by Chris Dick via Flickr cc
A grand jury has ruled that the police officers who shot and killed fugitive Shawn LaBeet will not face criminal charges, according to the Broward State Attorney's Office.
LaBeet had been named the prime suspect in the murder of Broward Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Reyka in 2007.
LeBeet was shot and killed by Miami-Dade police Sgt. Humberto Perez and Officer Michael Madruga during a separate incident a month after Reyka's death.
On August 10, 2007, Reyka was gunned down with a semiautomatic handgun in a Walgreens parking lot in Pompano Beach. Investigators say he was ambushed as he sat in his cruiser and was shot five times, including in the head.
According to the sheriff's office, Reyka, 52, was on patrol, checking a suspicious vehicle on the night he was killed.
Detectives believe LaBeet, 25, was near the Walgreens on the night of the murder, though he may have been living under his alias, "Kevin Wehner."
Last year, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel announced Labeet was the man responsible for killing Reyka.
Just a month later, LaBeet also shot Miami-Dade Police Officer Jose Somohano ten times, including once in the head, during a chase.
See also: Shawn LaBeet: Cop Killer Redux
Perez and Madruga tracked LaBeet down at a Pembroke Pines condo, where he hid inside the stall of a women's restroom in the complex's swimming pool. The officers called LaBeet to come out and surrender but were ignored.
LaBeet eventually replied, "I'm going to kill you too," according to the grand jury's nine-page report. He then kicked the restroom stall. Perez and Madruga fired at LaBeet, hitting him 15 times in the chest.
Broward Sheriff's Office
According to the grand jury's report, LeBeet was found to be the initial aggressor, and it called his shooting a "justifiable use of deadly force."
"Shawn LaBeet had a reputation for violence known to the involved officers at the time of this encounter," the report also says. "Each officer reasonably believed that such deadly force was necessary to defend himself or others not only from bodily harm but from imminent death or great bodily harm."
This past June, the grand jury had sat through three days of testimony and heard from 32 witnesses during that time. They issued their report on June 26.
The grand jury's report does not mention Reyka's death, and the BSO investigation on his murder remains open, with LaBeet as the sole suspect.
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.