Police Chief: Officer Followed Protocol - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Police Chief: Officer Followed Protocol

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BILLINGS -

Billings Police find no weapon after searching the car in which an armed robbery suspect sat when he was shot dead by an officer.

Chief Rich St. John says based on the evidence he has seen he believes the officer did follow protocol.

During the car search Tuesday, police say they did find drug paraphernalia. Those items were found next to the seat where 38-year-old Richard Ramirez sat. St. John says the officer who responded to the armed robbery on Sunday recognized Ramirez in the red car. Based on in-car video, the officer called for backup and followed the car for approximately 54 seconds until the red car pulled into an alley and stopped. St. John says the officer approached the car with no weapons drawn and told Ramirez seven times to keep his hands up. He says Ramirez raised and lowered either one or both hands six times, and when he looked like he was reaching for something, he was shot all of this happened in about 32 seconds. Backup arrived one to two minutes later.

"It's a stark reminder of the dangers we face," St. John said. "And so yeah, it does trouble me. It's a tragic situation and I'm sorry anybody got hurt or killed, in all cases. But understand the dynamics that we're put in a position that we need to react to."

St. John says he does not want to release the officer's name yet because of threats. He also says he doesn't want to release the name because two of Ramirez' brothers, Daniel and Jason, are wanted by the US Marshals Task Force for charges like failing to register as a violent offender and possession of drugs.

St. John says the officer had been involved in a shooting before and he plans to release more information. Billings detectives are also investigating the armed robbery to determine if Ramirez was involved.

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