La Salle police officer indicted for murder in Family Dollar shooting

A grand jury has indicted a La Salle police officer on murder charges in the fatal shooting of a 38-year-old man that officers had deemed suspicious in the parking lot at a Family Dollar store on May 3.

The 19th Judicial District Statutory Grand Jury issued an indictment dated June 23 against La Salle Police Officer Erik Hernandez, according to a statement issued Monday from the office of Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke.

Hernandez fired four shots and killed Juston Reffel, the indictment said. Hernandez was following up on a suspicious vehicle complaint when he and another officer encountered Reffel inside the store, according to what the grand jurors considered.

Reffel ran from the officers back to his vehicle, the statement said. The officers chased him. And, as he tried to pull out of the parking space, Hernandez fired shots that hit him in the upper torso. Reffel was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Hernandez has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and jailed, according to the release. A judge set the bond at $50,000. He is scheduled for a bond hearing on Aug. 23.

No other information was released.

This shooting happened after the officers received a call notifying them of a suspicious vehicle near the store. La Salle, population 2,359, lies about 6 miles south of Greeley.

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