- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - An off-duty officer was justified in the fatal shooting of a man who refused to drop his gun after stealing a woman’s cellphone, Pierce County authorities said Wednesday.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist concluded that the death of 40-year-old Jason Dion Galaviz by Tacoma police officer Dwaine Dakarai was justifiable homicide under state law, according to a news release from the prosecuting attorney’s office.

“Though off duty, Officer Dakarai acted to protect a young woman who was being robbed,” Lindquist said in the release. “His actions were proper to protect her and other citizens.”

Lindquist made the decision after reviewing several independent investigations by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office and Tacoma Police Department.

Authorities said Dakarai shot Galaviz Aug. 5 after he happened to be driving by and saw Galaviz throw a woman to the ground and take her cellphone. Witnesses chased Galaviz to a truck and were struggling with him when Galaviz reportedly pulled a gun.

Dakarai yelled that he was an off-duty officer and ordered the fighting to stop. As he approached the open passenger door, police say Galaviz pointed the gun at him.

Prosecutors said Dakarai ordered him to drop his weapon and fired one shot when Galaviz didn’t comply. The bullet struck Galaviz in the chest. He drove his truck a short distance after that and crashed into a parking sign. He died at a local hospital.

A medical examiner determined Galaviz had methamphetamine, oxycodone, marijuana and prescription drugs in his system at the time of his death.

Dakarai, who is black, was a 59-year-old veteran who had been in law enforcement for 29 years, including 23 with Tacoma police, at the time of the shooting. He had been placed on administrative leave while the shooting was reviewed, per standard procedure.

Galaviz was described as white, 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds.

Dakarai retired in November, the News Tribune reported.

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