Dec 20, 2015 1:33 AM by News Staff
Andrew Thomas, the drunken driving suspect shot by a Paradise police officer on Nov. 26 has died at Enloe Medical Center, hospital officials confirmed Saturday.
The shooting has garnered national headlines after Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey released dashcam video showing Officer Patrick Feaster firing at an unarmed Thomas following a rollover crash.
Ramsey said on Dec. 10 that his office will not seek charges against Feaster after investigators found the shooting to be accidental. Ramsey said the shooting was likely negligent, but not criminal. He also said during the news conference that if Thomas had died, involuntary manslaughter would have been considered.
Ramsey rehashed those sentiments Saturday night in a statement he made to Action News Now’s Debbie Cobb, “With Mr. Thomas’ unfortunate death we will now look to see if there is criminal negligence to go forth with a criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter. The theory of a criminal charge was not available without death.”
According to Ramsey, in the past few days Thomas’ health started to decline and his lungs and organs began to fail. He passed away Saturday evening, and Ramsey said he was notified via text message from a member of Thomas’ family.
Feaster, a five year veteran of the department, was parked on the Skyway around midnight Thanksgiving morning, when he saw a Toyota 4Runner speeding out of the Canteena Bar parking lot without headlights on.
Feaster followed in his patrol car, as Thomas ran a red light and turned onto Pearson Road where he struck the median and flipped. His estranged wife, Darien Ehorn was ejected from the SUV and died at the scene.
Ramsey said Feaster drew his gun when Thomas “popped” out of the car, believing he would flee. As Officer Feaster moved towards Thomas, the gun discharged and struck Thomas in the neck.
Newly released body camera footage shows that Feaster waited 11 minutes before telling anyone his weapon had discharged. Officers initially dismissed Thomas’ claims that he had been shot by an officer.