After reviewing the evidence, a grand jury in Maryland has declined to press charges against a businessman who shot and killed a drunken man who threatened to kill his family during a holiday party.
A grand jury declined to indict Francisco A. Trujillo in the killing of Mario Alberto Perez, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Friday afternoon.
Trujillo, 35, said he shot and killed Perez, 40, early the morning of Dec. 21 after Perez threatened Trujillo inside his own home in Damascus, Maryland.
“It was a surreal, tragic experience,” Trujillo told News4 on Friday.
The construction executive was hosting a small holiday gathering on the 24600 block of Ridge Road just days before Christmas when his acquaintance drunkenly started an argument with him, he said. Perez threatened to kill Trujillo, his wife and his children, who are 8 and 4 years old and were home at the time.
This case is the textbook justification for an armed citizen to shoot an unarmed man.
Perez was a much larger man than Trujillo and a known “martial arts expert” (precisely which martial art he practiced was not mentioned in the article).
Perez was also in Trujillo’s home, threatening Trujillo’s wife and two small children. Even in those localities where there is a duty to retreat, he did not have the practical option of retreat.
When Perez would not back down, Trujillo had little choice other than to fire in his own self-defense before Perez could get into range to disarm Trujillo. When Perez ceased to be a threat—after one well-aimed shot—Trujillo did not fire his weapon again.
I’m not surprised in the least that Trujillo was arrested by police, or that a district attorney in an anti-gun state such as Maryland would attempt to charge Trujillo with murder in what seems to be a relatively cut-and-dried case of self-defense. These people simply don’t think correctly.
What is somewhat amazing is that the grand jury looked at the evidence and declined to prosecute. Grand juries typically only see a one-sided case, heavily biased by the prosecutor. They do not get both sides of the story. That comes later in the criminal trial.
That Trujillo wasn’t indicted suggests that there was no ambiguity at all in this incident.
By the way, the next time you hear someone saying that only cops can get away with shooting an unarmed suspect, feel free to cite this case.
It has always been about the disparity of force, which is far more complex than just “armed” or “unarmed.”