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Austin police officers cleared from shooting death involving suspect in 360 Bridge crash, stabbing

Two APD officers have been cleared in connection with a fatal April 2019 shooting near the Pennybacker Bridge.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video published above is from April 2019 when the shooting occurred. 

Two officers who shot and killed a man near the Pennybacker Bridge in April of 2019 have been cleared by a Travis County grand jury, the District Attorney's Office announced on Monday. 

The grand jury did not return an indictment on Officer Hugh Butler, nor Officer William Bertelson in regards to the shooting death of Carlos Dodero. 

RELATED: Suspect killed after crash, stabbing near 360 bridge named by Austin police

Background: 

KVUE reported a timeline of the events in 2019: 

Former Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley said the initial call came in around 5:11 p.m. in the 5200 block of Loop 360. The caller reported there had been a crash involving multiple vehicles. He said many calls then came pouring in reporting a victim had been hit by a vehicle, a female had been pushed and pinned to the ground and the license plate numbers of those involved were given.

At 5:13 p.m., a caller stated a vehicle had turned around and started traveling northbound on the southbound lane of the highway, crashing into another vehicle. The caller stated the subject driving that vehicle fled the scene.

At some point, Chief Manley said a family member called in to report they got a call from a relative at this location stating she had been stabbed. Around this time, the Austin Fire Department reported it believed the suspect had fled into the woods.

The first APD officer arrived on scene by 5:18 p.m. and was directed by civilians into the area where the suspect may be. Reports stated he may have been detained by witnesses for a moment of time. The APD air unit and K-9 unit were then paged.

At 5:51 p.m., police received reports that the suspect was texting his step-daughter telling her that her mother was OK but that he was going to be killed by officers. The victim involved arrived at the hospital at 6:03 p.m.

At 6:21 p.m., officers reported that shots had been fired. By 6:35 p.m., CPR was in progress on the suspect. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Travis County grand jury's review

According to the DA's office, commands were given to Dodero to show his hands and he did not, but instead responded saying, "Don’t move, don’t move. I’ll shoot you. I’ll shoot you. Don’t move. I have a gun. I will shoot you." The DA's office said additional commands were given for Dodero to show his hands and to drop the weapon because the view of him was still obstructed by the brush. Dodero then suddenly extended his arm straight outward towards the officers and both Officers Bertelson and Butler fired their weapons at Dodero, striking him multiple times, the DA said. No firearm was ever recovered from Dodero.  

“The District Attorney’s office takes the work of presenting all facts and evidence to a grand jury very seriously,” said District Attorney Jose Garza. “In this case, an independent group of members of the Travis County community heard the evidence and law and decided that the conduct of Officer Butler and Officer Bertelson was lawful.”

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