Review: Fatal Shooting By UC Merced Police Justified

The letter was sent from the district attorney to the UC Merced chief of police.

A review by the Merced County district attorney found a university police officer’s use of deadly force last month was justified.

In a letter to the university chief of police, District Attorney Larry Morse concluded the shooting that resulted in the death of Faisal Mohammad on the campus of the University of California at Merced was in line with established law enforcement training.

The letter referred to an incident Nov. 4 when UC Merced officers Olaf Lopez and Kevin Warkentin responded to a report of a stabbing in the school’s Classroom and Office Building.

The officers saw a man with a knife engage a victim and run away then chased him to a nearby bridge by the campus library. Mohammad ignored the officers’ orders to drop the large knife he was holding and walked toward the officers. Lopez fired two shots at Mohammad when the officers estimate he was about ten feet away. Mohammad was later declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

“Officer Lopez correctly assessed a potentially life threatening situation and took the necessary action to protect himself or anyone else from becoming a victim of a person who was clearly intent on inflicting injury or death on innocent people,” Morse said in the letter.

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