Prosecutor clears Meridian cops in deadly 2012 shooting

Credit: Deren Martinez / KTVB

Prosecutor clears Meridian cops in deadly 2012 shooting

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by KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 7, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 7 at 7:10 PM

Deadly shooting in Meridian

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TWIN FALLS -- A special prosecutor has cleared four Meridian police officers who shot and killed a Meridian man who attacked the group with a knife on December 3, 2012.

Police say all four officers opened fire on 38-year-old Eric Dilworth of Meridian after he ran at them with a serrated, 8-inch kitchen knife during a welfare check at a Meridian apartment complex. Dilworth died shortly afterward.

Toxicology reports indicated he was under the influence of methamphetamine, benadryl, and alcohol.

Friends and family say the 38-year-old had threatened to commit suicide shortly before the confrontation.

Sadly, police say Dilworth's own mother had called and asked officers to check on him.

On Friday, Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs said no charges would be filed against any of the officers involved in the shooting.

“I have concluded that the shooting was a justified use of deadly force necessitated by the threat Mr. Dilworth posed to numerous Meridian Police Officers and the public,” Loebs said.

Loebs reviewed a "lengthy and thorough report, together with multiple discs of photos, audio recordings and maps," according to Meridian police.

Police justified the shooting as necessary due to the nature of the threat.

Officers say initially, Dilworth was too far away to stop with a taser, but then quickly ran at them with the knife.

The report indicates Dilworth told police to "come and get some, or come and get me."

According to the report, the four officers opened fire when he got within 15 or 20 feet of the group.

Loebs says the 38-year-old Meridian man obviously wanted to commit suicide by police officer.

Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea says the officers who shot and killed him are still employed by the department.

Basterrechea says the officers include veterans of the force with between 2 and 22 years of service.

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