SANTA ANA ( — An Anaheim police officer was justified when he fatally shot a 22-year-old man who fired at officers as they tried to arrest him last July, prosecutors said Tuesday.

In a letter to Anaheim Interim Police Chief Raul Quezada dated Monday, prosecutors concluded that Officer Kelly Phillips was justified when he fatally shot Joel Acevedo on July 22, 2012.

Acevedo, an alleged gang member, fired at officers at the end of a stolen-vehicle pursuit before he was fatally shot.

KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports that Acevedo’s family alleged the 22-year-old was executed by Officer Phillips.

“There’s absolutely no evidence to support that,” said Steve McGreevy, the senior deputy District Attorney in Orange County. “Matter of fact, all of the evidence contradicts that.”

McGreevy said the officer had no choice but to kill Acevedo who shot at him three times first.

“Phillips continues to be troubled by a lot of the remarks made by family members and friends of Mr. Acevedo,” said Kerry Condon of the Anaheim Police Association.

The confrontation was one of two officer-involved fatal shootings in a two-day span that led to mass protests in Anaheim.

In March, prosecutors also concluded that they would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Nick Bennallack did not act responsibly when he fatally shot Manuel Diaz on July 21 of last year in the courtyard of an apartment building at 704 N. Anna Drive.

A $50 million wrongful death lawsuit that Diaz’s family filed against the officer and the city is pending in federal court.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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