For release on November 29, 2016   CONTACT:
Theresa McLaughlin, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2782   DA REPORT: SAN JOSE SNIPER LAWFULLY KILLED HOSTAGE TAKER WHO MURDERED WOMAN, SHOT OFFICER   A San Jose Police Department sniper last year lawfully shot and killed a 45-year-old city man who had taken a woman hostage and was firing his gun at officers, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has determined.   Before he was killed, Leonel Acevedo shot one officer in the leg. Police later found that he had murdered his 53-year-old hostage inside her home.   The 38-page public report written by prosecutor Theresa McLaughlin concludes: “There is no question that the situation Acevedo created carried such an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury to Sergeant (Justin) Moro’s fellow officers that the only reasonable action available to him was to fire his weapon at Acevedo.”   The District Attorney’s Office investigates all fatal law enforcement encounters to determine if the lethal force was legal. By law, officers are allowed to use deadly force when they or others are faced with imminent danger.   The fatal incident began on the afternoon of November 9, 2015, when Acevedo tricked his way into a house on the 4400 block of Camden Avenue by pretending to sell his car to a resident. Once he forced himself inside the home, Acevedo fired a weapon several times as he grabbed another woman, Yolanda Najera, and took her hostage. The resident fled the home and called police.   Barricaded in the home with Ms. Najera, Acevedo – who used to live in the home – called up her husband and taunted him. Police soon arrived and Sgt. Moro – a veteran of 15 years - set up his rifle about 60 yards away. Acevedo came out of the house several hours later and began firing at officers. Sgt. Moro fired twice, but Acevedo did not go down. Sgt. Moro moved his position to see Acevedo ducking down to take cover from oncoming officers. The officer fired a third shot. Acevedo went down. When police got to him, Acevedo was holding a loaded weapon in each hand. His finger was still on the trigger of a semi-automatic gun. A baggie of 29 bullets were found in Acevedo’s back pocket. An autopsy showed that all three of the sniper’s shots struck Acevedo.   The officer who was shot in the leg found a bullet lodged in the heel of his boot. Acevedo’s landlords later found a note from him in his bedroom saying that if he did not come home to call his relatives. Police found Ms. Najera in a hallway of her home, fatally shot multiple times.   # # #  

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