The State Attorney's Office has ruled that a deputy who recently shot and killed a woman as she tried to escape during a burglary was justified in the use of deadly force, according to findings released by the sheriff's office.
Deputy Aaron Bradley shot and on July 18 as the woman was trying to escape from a burglary in the 900 block of 66th Avenue West. Deputies said that Joanna Mojica, 26, and her boyfriend, Jesse Flores, 26, had just burglarized the house and had a car full of stolen goods when they tried to escape by driving the car at the deputy.
Three deputies tried to stop the pair, Bradley was directly in front of the car and two other deputies were to the right and left of the vehicle. Mojica drove her car directly at Bradley to try to get away, according to the report. Bradley shot his weapon five times, the first bullet hitting the hood of the car.
The two other deputies on either side of the car and also were in harm's way, according to the report. Bradley was about three car lengths from the car when Mojica accelerated toward him. He fired five shots at the car, all about a second apart.
The sheriff released the following findings on Friday:
Deputy Chief Assistant State Attorney Lon Arend states “based on a review of the evidence in this case, it is clear that the decedent (Joanna Mojica) intentionally accelerated her vehicle towards Deputy Aaron Bradley placing Deputy Bradley in reasonable fear of death or serious physical harm to himself and or other deputies on scene….the case is considered to be lawful use of deadly force.
Mojica was taken to Blake Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Flores was arrested at the scene and charged with felony murder, two counts of attempted murder and burglary. Flores was charged with felony murder because Mojica was killed during the commission of a crime.