The lethal force that Boise police used last November on fugitive Marco Romero — who shot two friends and was suspected of carjacking an 89-year-old Meridian woman — was justified, according to the Idaho prosecutor that reviewed the case.
“I have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal charge against any of the law enforcement officers involved in this incident for the shooting death of Marco Romero,” Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs said in a press release Friday.
“To the contrary: The facts in this case reveal that Mr. Romero’s staggeringly violent crime spree, culminating with the shooting of two Boise police officers and a Boise police K-9 came to an end only when he was shot by Boise police officers in the exercise of their lawful duty,” Loebs wrote.
Romero shot at BPD Special Operations Unit officers who discovered him hiding behind garbage cans in a Bench neighborhood. His gunfire struck Cpl. Kevin Holtry, Cpl. Chris Davis and police dog Jardo. Holtry was critically injured — he was paralyzed and lost a leg. Davis was treated for a gunshot wound to his leg. Jardo, struck once in the chest, died less than a week later.
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Cpl. Davis returned to work last year. Cpl. Holtry continues to recover and receive treatment in Boise for his life-changing injuries.
One of the two people who Romero shot at the start of his crime spree last November died in July. Melinda Salas, paralyzed when she was shot by Romero, was 29. If the coroner determines that her death is connected to the shooting, it could be ruled a homicide.
Romero, who became addicted to meth and other drugs as a child growing up in Boise, had meth in his system at the time of his death, according to the coroner. Throughout more than 20 criminal arrests and seven full years incarcerated, he kept returning to the drug and to other bad decisions.