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Marana police officer cleared of criminal charges after fatal shooting, officials say

Marana police officer cleared of criminal charges after fatal shooting, officials say

Marana PD investigates officer involved shooting

Marana Police Department officers investigate the scene of an officer involved shooting at a residence in Marana on Sunday morning. An officer shot a male suspect during an altercation after the officer responded to the scene at a house in the 7400 block of West Crimson Ridge Drive, said Sgt Chriswell Scott, with the Marana PD.

The Pima County Attorney's Office declined to file charges against a Marana police officer who fatally shot a man at the end of March.

Officer Steven Copp fatally shot Juan Padilla, 24, during an incident that occurred after responding to a call that Padilla had attacked a man inside a house in the 7400 block of West Crimson Ridge Drive, near North Silverbell Road.

Copp found a man critically wounded from stab wounds in the front yard. The wounded man said the man who stabbed him was inside the house with a woman, according to Arizona Daily Star archives.

When Copp entered the home, he found Padilla with a steak knife in his hand on top of a woman on the floor who was crying and had blood on her clothes and feet, according to a letter from Chris Ward, Deputy Pima County Attorney to Terry Rozema, the Marana Police Chief.

The letter says Padilla ignored Copp's orders to drop the knife and said "just shoot me" before starting to stand. During the ordeal, Copp told Padilla to drop the knife 10 times in a 38 second period, before firing at him three times, killing him, the letter says.

The woman was taken to the hospital with seven stab wounds and survived her injuries, Ward said in the letter. 

The letter says the injured man told officials he had just met Padilla and the woman that day at a downtown bar. He invited them to his house after the bar closed, and they spent three to four hours talking, drinking and sitting in the hot tub in his backyard.

The man said he fell asleep and woke up to Padilla stabbing him and saying "You betrayed me," the letter says. The woman called 911 and the man was able to get outside.

The letter goes on to say the County Attorney's Office declined to file any charges against Copp because he had several reasons to believe Padilla would try to stab him or the woman, and was justified in his actions. 

Contact reporter Danyelle Khmara at or 573-4223. On Twitter: @DanyelleKhmara

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