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October 20, 2014

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Police cleared in fatal shooting of soldier in Reno

Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick has ruled police officers were justified when they fatally shot an active-duty U.S. Army soldier in Reno while he was visiting family last year.

Police responded to a report of a suicidal man with a shotgun on July 11, 2013, and located 27-year-old Kenneth Stafford in the backyard of a home where the owners didn't know him.

According to police, Stafford quickly turned toward Reno and Sparks officers and pointed the gun at them. Police say all five officers reacted simultaneously by firing 22 shots, 14 of which hit Stafford.

Gammick defends the shooting, saying officers confronted with weapons must make split-second decisions.

But Stafford's widow, Aimee Stafford, told KRNV-TV she disagrees with Gammick's finding.

She says her husband was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after earning medals in Iraq and needed help from the officers.

The helicopter mechanic was deployed in Iraq from February to December 2011.

The officers escaped injury.

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