GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — The Mesa County Sheriff’s office has released a letter from the 21st Judicial District Attorney, Dan Rubinstein, with his review of an investigation of an officer-involved shooting near the Red Roof Inn back in early December of 2022.
The DA decided not to file charges against Officer Jose “Joey” Gonzalez and Trooper Jacob Best because the review of the Sheriff’s investigation concluded the two officers were acting in self-defense and in defense of each other.
The man the police officers shot, Joseph Mendez, is facing charges. The 28-year-old is charged with two counts of menacing, one count of stalking and various other charges related to his firearms parole.
In summary, officers responded to a call for a subject known to be armed, mentally unstable, and prohibited from possessing firearms. Upon attempting to contact him, he lied about his identity and fled. During his flight, he turned and pointed his gun at a CSP Trooper. Multiple officers described seeing the gun, as did citizens. The officers who fired reasonably believed they or other citizens were in imminent danger of Mr. Mendez shooting them. The officers responded lawfully and appropriately in defense of themselves and others. Accordingly, it is not appropriate to file charges against the two officers. As previously referenced, this office has charged Mr. Mendez for his offense of possessing the firearm, for threatening officers with it, for stalking his ex-wife from who he is restrained, and with other related offenses.Daniel P. Rubinstein, District Attorney
The entire 26-page report can be read in its entirety here