An Austin police officer who shot and killed an armed man during a foot chase in Southwest Austin last year will not face any criminal charges for the fatal police shooting, a Travis County grand jury decided Thursday.
Patrick Cheatham had been with Austin police for about one year on July 12, 2015, when he shot and killed David Allen Lepine while chasing the man in a wooded area near Lepine’s home near Oak Hill. An investigation determined that Lepine had pulled a handgun from his pocket during the chase before Cheatham shot Lepine twice after ordering Lepine to drop the gun.
The grand jury spent about seven hours reviewing evidence and hearing testimony from four witnesses, a statement from the Travis County district attorney’s office said.
Lepine was one of eight people who died either in the custody of or as a result of use of force by Austin police in 2015, according to the Texas Attorney General’s office.
A 911 call from a woman complaining that Lepine had followed her in his vehicle brought Cheatham and another Austin police officer to Lepine’s home on the night of the shooting. The woman had complained that Lepine had attempted to open the door to the woman’s car, the district attorney’s office said.
Police spoke with Lepine at his home in the 9400 block of Claxton Drive between Texas 71 and U.S. 290 West and determined that it appeared no crime had been committed. The officers were set to leave when one spotted blood drops and smears on Lepine’s truck, the district attorney’s office said.
Police then attempted to handcuff Lepine, but Lepine ran into a wooded area, where Cheatham shot and fatally wounded Lepine.