Probe: Fatal California cop shooting of Navy vet justified

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 3:06 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 3:06 PM


            FILE - This Sept. 14, 2017, file photo, provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Dillan Tabares. Tabares, 27, who was fatally shot last year by a police officer in a videotaped encounter outside a California convenience store, was identified as a Navy veteran whose family says he had a history of mental illness. The Orange County District Attorney's office said Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, that investigators found the shooting was justified. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP, File)
FILE - This Sept. 14, 2017, file photo, provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Dillan Tabares. Tabares, 27, who was fatally shot last year by a police officer in a videotaped encounter outside a California convenience store, was identified as a Navy veteran whose family says he had a history of mental illness. The Orange County District Attorney's office said Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, that investigators found the shooting was justified. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP, File)

Investigators determined the fatal police shooting of a homeless Navy veteran outside a Southern California convenience store last year was justified, the Orange County District Attorney's office said Wednesday.

Video shows 27-year-old Dillan Tabares confronting the officer and punching him, then reaching for his duty belt as the two struggled before seven shots were fired, the office said.

Tabares was pronounced dead shortly after the September morning shooting outside a Huntington Beach convenience store.

County prosecutors released a nearly 13 minute-video that includes footage from bystanders' cellphones and officers' body-worn cameras.

Huntington Beach police officer Eric Esparza, who fired the shots, can be heard telling another officer who arrived to assist him that Tabares had tried to grab his gun.

Investigators said Tabares' DNA was later found on the grip of the Esparza's pistol and his flashlight, which he appears to have snatched during the tussle.

It is not clear what prompted Esparza to stop Tabares in the first place. Esparza declined to provide a statement to investigators.

"When they just give us a statement of course that makes it easier, but they do have their rights and we can't infringe on those," District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters.

Investigators said witnesses said Tabares appeared "out of it" as he approached the store at a busy intersection near a high school. Toxicology tests later showed he tested positive for methamphetamine.

Assistant District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said Esparza gave multiple commands that Tabares ignored and tried using his Taser before shooting his weapon. A jury, he said, would find "he was doing his job as a peace officer in a reasonable manner."

Brandon Tabares said his brother's life had unraveled into homelessness, drug use and mental illness after he failed a drug test and was discharged from the Navy five years ago.

Dillan Tabares had a series of arrests in California and was released on parole Sept. 14 after completing a 2-year sentence for a felony battery conviction, the district attorney's office said. He absconded and was marked as a "parolee-at-large" on Sept. 20 — two days before the shooting.

His family repeatedly sought help for him and said he was treated at psychiatric facilities.

A message was sent to his brother Wednesday seeking comment.

In November, authorities said they believed that days before the shooting Tabares had beaten to death an 80-year-old friend. It took about a month for police to tie the two cases together.

Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family says 

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 7:15 PM

Tom Petty Death Caused By Accidental Drug Overdose

Tom Petty died from an accidental drug overdose after taking a variety of medications, the family for the legendary rock star said Friday. 

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Petty, who suffered emphysema, knee problems and more recently a fractured hip, was prescribed various pain medications including Fentanyl patches, his family said. 

“On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication,” his family wrote on Facebook

The family called Petty’s Oct. 2 death an unfortunate accident. 

“As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.”

DOVER, DE - JUNE 22: Tom Petty performs onstage at the Firefly Music Festival at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway on June 22, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly Music Festival)(Theo Wargo)

Drake makes surprise appearance at Memphis nightclub

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 10:47 PM

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09:  Drake attends
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09: Drake attends "The Carter Effect" premiere during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 9, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)(Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

He may have started from the bottom, but rapper Drake is making headlines after doing one dance that started in the Bluff City.

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According to party promoter Curtis Givens, the Grammy winner called him wanting to have a private party at In LOVE Memphis, a popular nightclub.

Givens said it was a last minute call, but he and his business partner were up for the challenge.

As word quickly spread that Drake was in Memphis, videos started to popping up on social media.

He was seen doing the popular "shoot" dance made famous by Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB.

About Last Night Wit My Bro🔥💯 @champagnepapi

A post shared by BlocBoy JB 💯💯💯 (@blocboy_jb) on

Drake even previewed new music during his appearance at the club.
He also made a stop at Friday night's Grizzlies game against the Sacramento Kings.

Drake is no stranger to the area. His father, Dennis Graham, is from Memphis, and Drake is known to visit frequently.

Woman dies after falling from balcony of Carnival cruise ship

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:54 PM

Carnival Cruise Elation. (Photo: ActionNewsJax.com)
Carnival Cruise Elation. (Photo: ActionNewsJax.com)

A woman died Friday after falling from the balcony of a room on the Jacksonville-based Carnival Elation cruise ship.

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The woman fell from the balcony to several decks below, Carnival said in a statement.

Carnival Elation departed Jacksonville on Thursday for a four-day cruise to the Bahamas.

Carnival sent the following statement to Action News Jax:
"Early this morning a guest fell from her balcony to several decks below. The ship’s medical team responded immediately, but, unfortunately, she passed away. The incident was reported to all proper authorities and CARE Team support was offered to fellow travelers and her family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and her family. Carnival Elation departed Jacksonville Jan. 18 on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas."

Trump cancels Florida trip as government shutdown looms

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

President Donald Trump will not make a planned trip to Mar-a-Lago today because of a looming federal government shutdown, a White House official told The Palm Beach Post on Friday morning.

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Trump was scheduled to arrive at Palm Beach International Airport tonight for a weekend trip that included a Saturday fundraiser for his 2020 re-election campaign at Mar-a-Lago. The official who confirmed today’s travel is off did not address the president’s plans for the remainder of the weekend.

5 Things to Know About Mar-a-Lago

Trump was planning to make the 12th Palm Beach visit of his presidency. But Congress has not reached a spending agreement to keep the federal government operating past midnight.

Saturday is the one-year anniversary of Trump taking office. The Trump campaign recently announced a “special sweepstakes” in which a winner will get to attend dinner Saturday at Mar-a-Lago with Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.