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Report: Flagstaff Police Officer Justified In April Shooting

The Coconino County Attorney’s office will not file charges against a Flagstaff Police Department officer who shot a man while on duty April 8.

A report in which the county attorney declined to file charges found Officer Nicholas Rubey was justified in shooting Matthew Dearing while trying to arrest him.

An investigation of the shooting conducted by Northern Arizona University Police said that at the time of the shooting, Dearing had been resisting arrest and pepper-sprayed Officer Rubey.

“Once blinded, [Rubey] was at risk to have his service weapon taken from him or that he was at risk from injury from any other weapon the suspect might produce,” the report said.

Officer Rubey told investigators that he had seen a knife on the crossbar of Dearing’s bicycle, and Dearing had acknowledging being in possession of another knife.

Dearing was shot in the neck. The report calls his injuries “non-life-threatening.”

Blood was drawn from Dearing while at the hospital, and it tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine. The report notes Dearing “admitted to paramedics that he had smoked meth earlier in the day.”

The report said he was released from the hospital two days after the incident.

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