LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — An investigation into the death of a Loveland teen at the hands of a Loveland police officer has wrapped up, and no charges will be filed.
Alexander Domina, 19, was in the backyard of his home at 1620 Tennessee St. with a knife in his hand on Aug. 16. According to family members who called 911, he was having a mental health crisis at the time. A responding officer shot and killed Domina as he walked toward the officer with the knife.
“After my review of the thorough (Critical Incident Response Team) investigation, I conclude that no criminal charges are appropriate for Officer Eddie Luzon or Alex Domina regarding their conduct,” 8th Judicial District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin said in his announcement.
McLaughlin called Domina’s death a tragedy and said the legal analysis begins when the confrontation between the two began.
“However, a broader analysis of alternatives leading up to that point may have shown opportunities to have avoided this outcome,” McLaughlin said. “While a District Attorney only has the authority to decide the appropriateness of criminal charges, a legal justification is not a moral clearance to avoid reform.”
It’s been a difficult three weeks for Domina’s family, according to the family attorney, Mari Newman. She called attention to the DA’s language in his decision letter.
“You just don’t see that kind of language commonly in a decision letter like this,” Newman said.
McLaughlin’s decision comes on the heels of a separate high-profile Loveland police incident. Just this week, the City of Loveland reached a $3 million settlement with the family of Karen Garner, who was 73 years old and suffering dementia when an officer hurt her during an arrest after she was accused of stealing from Walmart.
Newman said she truly hopes the DA’s words act as a wake-up call for the Loveland Police Department.
“The DA is making the point … the community demands and deserves better,” Newman said.
What happened before Domina was shot
Officer Eddie Luzon was the first to arrive after Domina’s grandmother called 911 on the 19-year-old, who had become erratic after she asked him to do chores.
Body camera video shows Luzon trying to calm Domina down and asking him to put down the knife, but Domina instead began walking toward him.
When Domina did not respond to commands to stop, Luzon shot him three times, striking him in the abdomen.
Domina was put on life support, but after three weeks he was taken off of it. He died on Sept. 8.