Grand jury determines Amarillo officers ‘acted appropriately’ in deadly motel shooting

A Potter County grand jury has determined that Amarillo police officers "acted appropriately" concerning the shooting death of a suspect at an Amarillo motel in July 2018.

Amarillo police officers were at the America’s Best Value Inn at 3930 East IH-40, looking for Jose Luis Rodriguez with a felony warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Officers observed Rodriguez exit a room with a handgun in his hand. Rodriguez attempted to conceal himself behind other civilians.

Rodriguez would not drop the gun and was shot by an officer. He died at the scene.

“The grand jury found the officers acted appropriately. There were three officers directly involved, but only one officer fired shots.

"They (grand jury) found they acted appropriately and did not violate any laws of the state of Texas.

“The shooting was a result of the Amarillo Police Department being in the process of serving some warrants on some individuals, most of which had previously had weapons convictions. They were able to identify one of the individuals was at a hotel on Interstate 40, the SWAT team was called out to help with the arrest and after doing surveillance for a couple of hours, eventually the individual was in position where they could attempt to make an arrest.

"Unfortunately, the gentleman pulled a weapon, the Amarillo Police Department was in a situation where they had a to respond because women and a baby were with the man and he was trying to use one of them for cover.

“Jose Rodriguez had been previously charged with felony possession of a firearm in the month of June and in July he had been caught twice with weapons as a convicted felon. He had charges pending for assault with a deadly weapon and that was the warrant officers were attempting to arrest him for.

“We are fortunate to have folks who want to do that work. It’s a very dangerous and stressful job that they do, even more so because they are the group tossed into the most burning fires.

"I just want to compliment the Amarillo Police Department and those guys for what they do for our city," 47th District Attorney Randall Sims said.

Amarillo Police Chief Ed Drain was happy with the grand jury's decision.

“In Potter and Randall County our prosecutors do a very good job of getting these officer-involved shootings to the grand juries and on the docket quickly, because it’s important to the officers and their families these issues be resolved as quickly as they can.

“I appreciate Mr. Sims’ energy, both he and his staff, in reviewing those cases," Drain said.

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