May 23--A Travis County grand jury decided Tuesday that an Austin officer will not face charges after fatally shooting a man who fired his weapon at police last year, officials at the Travis County district attorney's office said.
Officer Steven Pena fatally shot Gilberto Vallejo about 1 a.m. on May 9, 2011, officials said.
Police responded to a call of shots fired at the English Aire Apartments at 1919 Burton Drive in Southeast Austin, where Vallejo's ex-girlfriend lived. She was not at home but her relatives were, officials said.
Vallejo began shooting at the apartment's front door and tried to kick it in when the people inside called 911, officials said.
Pena and another officer approached the apartment and ordered Vallejo to drop his weapon, officials said. As they approached, they heard a gunshot, and then Pena shot Vallejo, officials said. Vallejo died that morning at University Medical Center Brackenridge.
Police Chief Art Acevedo said at the time of the shooting that, when the officers rounded a corner and saw Vallejo, he pointed a gun at the officers in a "menacing and threatening manner and fired at least one round" at them.
The autopsy revealed that in addition to the wounds from Pena's shotgun, Vallejo had shot himself in the chest with his own gun, officials said. His ex-girlfriend had reported to police that Vallejo had been harassing her, police have said.
The grand jury panel returned a no bill verdict after hearing testimony from Pena and other officers who responded to the call. The panel also heard from other witnesses, including some neighbors who lived at the apartments.
Contact Patrick George at 445-3548
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