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DA: Officer Justified in September Shooting

A Santa Barbara police officer who shot and killed a man did nothing wrong.

That’s the finding of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office.

The 14-page public report describe Brian Tacadena, 46, as a white supremacist gang member with seven Nazi tattoos and a lengthy criminal history that includes beating women and drug abuse.

The report could not account for every hour leading up to Tacadena’s death but investigators said Tacadena texted “I am dead,” to his daughter three and half hours before the fatal shooting.

It describe a 911 call about his cussing, ranting and raving

One of the several witnesses heard an officer say “Stop or I will shoot. Drop the knife.” The witness also heard Tacadena say “Yeah I know you will.”

The unidentified officer fired five shots about 12-15 feet away from Tacadena.

Tacadena’s cousin, Frank Tacadena said, “They are trained officers, they don’t have to shoot someone dead because he had a knife.”

The autopsy showed Tacadena died from a single gunshot wound. It also showed methamphetamine in his system in an amount ten times greater than the average drug user would use. The autopsy also showed olanzapine, a drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar mania. A nine-inch knife found by his body had meth inside the handle.

Relatives said they still want answers. They said detectives promised to meet with them after the public report was complete.

They want to know the name of the officer who shot Tacadena. Investigators said they withholding the name of the officer and witnesses to protect them from possible retaliation.

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