MIDLAND – Two Midland Police Officers have returned to work following a ruling by a Midland County grand jury.
According to a report from the City of Midland, the grand jury ruled that 49-year-old Rosendo Rodriquez was indicted by the grand jury for attempted capital murder. That decision cleared Midland Police Department employees Sgt. Mitch Russell and Officer Sean Sharp of any wrongdoing in the deadly officer-involved shooting that happened back on December 1, 2014.
As you may recall, Midland Police were called to the scene by the Midland County Sheriff's Office that reported Rodriquez appeared to have shot at mental health officials who were conducting a welfare check on him at his home in the 2700 block of Washington Avenue.
Midland Police attempted to make contact with Rodriquez but they were unsuccessful.
That's when officers entered the home and found Rodriquez in a small bathroom with a machete.
Officials say officers used less-than-lethal bean bag rounds in an effort to force Rodriquez to drop the machete but he was unaffected.
Rodriquez then continued to swing his weapon at officers within a confined space, resulting in the use of deadly force. According to the report, Rodriquez did strike one officer with the flat side of the machete during the altercation.
Russell and Sharp were placed on administrative leave per police policy following the incident and a Texas Rangers investigation.
An internal Midland Police administrative board review also found that the two officers were in compliance with all state/federal laws and department policy.
“Our officers attempted to make contact with Rodriquez for several hours after he acted aggressively toward Midland County deputies, and utilized less-than-lethal means in an attempt to subdue his violent actions before resorting to deadly force,” Police Chief Price Robinson said. “It is my belief based on the information we've reviewed that Sgt. Russell and Officer Sharp acted professionally and in accordance with their training, MPD General Orders, and state law. These officers have my full support.”
Officer Sharp has worked for MPD since 2003 and Sgt. Russell has since 1991.