“Unexpectedly, Mr. Dotson opened the front door and storm door, then partially exited the house while raising a firearm into a firing position and pointed in the direction of the officers,” the report said. “At that moment, Professor Stoughton concluded that Mr. Dotson presented an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to the officers, and all three reasonably fired their weapons, acting within the bounds of accepted police practices.”
After the officers shot Mr. Dotson, his wife, Kimberly Dotson, fired at the officers from the doorway with a handgun, investigators said, and Officers Estrada and Wasson fired back. She put down the gun once she realized that they were police officers. Ms. Dotson and the officers were not harmed.
Professor Stoughton found that Officers Estrada and Wasson did not use excessive force when they shot at Ms. Dotson because the shots she had fired “created a second imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to the officers,” and the officers “once again reasonably returned fire,” the report said.
Given Professor Stoughton’s findings, the state would be unable to meet the standard of proof necessary to support criminal charges, the report said. “As such, the New Mexico Department of Justice considers this matter closed,” it said.
Thomas M. Clark, a lawyer for the Dotson family, said on Wednesday that the family was devastated.
“They see this as a slap in the face to an innocent man who was killed in his home when the police weren’t supposed to be at his doorstep,” Mr. Clark said.