Butte County District Attorney to reevaluate Paradise police shooting

Dec 21, 2015 5:07 PM by News Staff

The man shot by a Paradise police officer while exiting a wrecked SUV died on Saturday night and Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the death means his office will reevaluate the case.

Ramsey announced on December 10 that his office would not be charging Officer Patrick Feaster for firing at 26-year-old Andrew Thomas.

Ramsey called the November 26 shooting an accident, saying Feaster "did not intentionally fire his pistol" and that "he was in shock at the scene and not certain his weapon had actually discharged." He said the shooting was likely negligent, but not criminal.

On Monday, Ramsey said Thomas’ death now raises the issue of whether Officer Feaster’s negligent action in handling his firearm rises to the level of criminal negligence necessary to prove a potential charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors also plan to explore whether or not Feaster’s decision to wait 11 minutes before reporting his gun fired contributed to Thomas’ death.

Before any decisions are made, an autopsy must be conducted and prosecutors must meet with medical experts. Ramsey said he doesn’t expect this to be completed before the holiday period is over.

Feaster has been with the Paradise Police Department since 2010. He may still face some punishment from an internal investigation that is ongoing.


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