Ex-Guard Won’t Face NYC Shooting Charges

     BROOKLYN (CN) – As New York City mourned the death of an ambushed policeman, prosecutors announced that they would not charge the retired corrections officer who fatally shot a man at a busy subway station in March.
     Former corrections officer William Groomes, 69, fired a single shot from a 9-mm handgun at Gilbert Drogheo, 32, on a subway station platform after a March 10 scuffle on a crowded No. 4 train.
     Videos of the shooting witnesses took with their cellphones went viral .
     While in the subway killing the shooter is black and the victim was white, the altercation further strained relations between police and the community after the June 2014, videotaped chokehold death of Eric Garner by New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo and the August 2014 police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
     According to published reports, Groomes said he tried to make a citizen’s arrest after Drogheo pushed him into an empty subway seat when he tried to intervene in an argument Drogheo was having with a fellow construction-worker friend.
     The three men got off the train in Brooklyn, and Groomes followed Drogheo to the subway turnstile before he fired the single shot at Drogheo’s chest at the height of rush hour. Drogheo later died at the hospital, and his death was pronounced a homicide.
     On Monday, as the city mourned the death of NYPD officer Brian Moore after he was shot in his squad car, prosecutors closed their investigation into Drogheo’s death.
     “Following a full and fair investigation … I have determined that criminal charges are not warranted in this matter,” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement. “Based on interviews of multiple eyewitnesses to the events leading up to the shooting, our review of video tapes of the shooting itself and other evidence, I have decided not to put this case into the grand jury and will not bring criminal charges against Mr. Groomes.
     “While the death of this young man was indeed tragic, we cannot prove any charge of homicide beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
     Widespread protests erupted after similar announcements about the failure to indict the police officers who shot Garner and Brown.
     Indeed it was in protest of Garner’s killer that Ismaaiyl Brinsley gunned down NYPD Officers Wenujian Liu and Rafael Ramos while they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn this past December.
     Brinsley turned the gun on himself in a subway station after the shootings.
     Demitrius Blackwell, 35, meanwhile will likely face murder charges for Moore’s shooting.
     Against this backdrop, rookie cop Peter Liang was indicted in February for the November 2014 fatal shooting of Akai Gurley, 28, in a dark stairwell of a public housing project.

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