No charges will be brought against a Georgia State Patrol trooper involved in a fatal shooting in June in Gainesville.
Rodrigo Guardiola, 36, of Gainesville, was shot June 25 after a chase by troopers participating in the Operation Rolling Thunder traffic exercise.
Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh decided not to bring charges following an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
State Patrol Sgt. Auston Allen followed Guardiola into a creek near Industrial Boulevard in Gainesville, according to the investigation. Allen told authorities Guardiola attempted to drown him, and the sergeant fired his gun once.
“The action taken by Trooper Allen in firing his weapon once, striking Mr. Guardiola in the chest, in order to prevent being killed himself, was an act in which Trooper Allen was justified, acting solely and necessarily in the defense of his own life,” Darragh wrote in a letter to the GBI.
Darragh wrote that “no criminal charges against Trooper Allen should be pursued.”
Darragh also reviewed law enforcement’s treatment of Epitacio Gudino-Almazan, who was a passenger in the car with Guardiola.
When asked for comment, Gudino-Almazan’s attorney Inez Grant wrote in an email she would need to contact her client.
Three law enforcement officials — two Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies and one Gainesville Police officer — were investigated concerning their “minimal use of force … with their hands in effecting the arrest of Epitacio Gudino,” according to Darragh’s letter.
“I have found that their actions were justified and necessary to accomplish the arrest successfully in light of Gudino’s refusal to comply with the officers’ lawful commands,” Darragh wrote.
Another trooper was accused of striking Gudino with his car when arriving on the scene.
Saying that the “fleeing (Gudino-Almazan) ran into the path of the trooper’s oncoming car as the trooper was braking,” Darragh suggested no charges for the trooper.