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DeWitt grand jury clears Cuero police officer in teen shooting death

By BY SONNY LONG
July 30, 2010 at 2:30 a.m.


THE STORY SO FARThursday, June 3 - Alfonso Villarreal, 19, shot and killed in his home by Cuero Police Officer Jeff Thompson.

Tuesday, June 9 - Villarreal buried in Hillside Cemetery

Thursday, July 22 - DeWitt County grand jury sends back no bill, refusing to indict Thompson

Wednesday, July 28 - Thompson resigns from Cuero Police force

CUERO - A DeWitt County grand jury cleared a Cuero police officer in the shooting death of a teenager last month.

The decision came following a day of testimony before the panel last week.

Alfonso Villarreal, 19, was shot and killed June 3 in his home by Officer Jeff Thompson.

Earlier this week, Thompson, Cuero's 2009 Officer of the Year, submitted his resignation from the force effective Aug. 6 to pursue his career elsewhere, according to a news release Friday from the Cuero Police Department.

DeWitt County District Attorney Michael Sheppard said he could not comment directly on grand jury proceedings, but offered his opinion on some of the evidence.

"I can tell you that my own review of the audio and video tapes and the recorded statements of the witnesses taken at the scene indicate that the deceased pointed a loaded gun at the officers immediately after they entered the home," Sheppard said.

"The officers were dispatched to the home based on a call from the home that indicated Mr. Villarreal was suicidal, armed and there were children present in the residence," said the DA.

Investigation by the Texas Rangers revealed that Villarreal was armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

Villarreal's father, Danny Villarreal declined to comment Friday.

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