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Civil Guard officer arrested for shooting driver over traffic spat

Source: El Pais - Tue 26th Apr 2016
Civil Guard officer arrested for shooting driver over traffic spat

A Civil Guard officer was arrested on Monday after shooting a driver over a traffic dispute on the Valencia A-3 motorway.

Ángel Luis V. J., 31, allegedly fired at his victim five times in the head after a prolonged car chase, sources familiar with the investigation said.

The officer was found to have cannabis in his system after the incident.

His victim was Younes S., a 39-year-old Moroccan national who apparently collided with the officer’s vehicle while both were driving on the A-3.

The incident took place at 7.33am on Monday at Km 67 on the Valencia-bound carriageway, within the city limits of Fuentidueña de Tajo.

The preliminary investigation points to a spat between both drivers. The Civil Guard officer was behind the wheel of a blue BMW 320 while Younes S. was driving a grey Opel Zafira.

Some sources said the latter vehicle nicked the BMW, but did not stop.

A car chase ensued for several kilometers, until one of the vehicles slammed into the median strip and hit the other. The BMW’s tire marks were clearly visible on the road, while the Opel Zafira’s entire front end was crushed.

Both men then got out of their vehicles. The law enforcement officer – who joined the Civil Guard 11 years ago but is currently on medical leave – allegedly took out his gun. Several witnesses have confirmed that the victim ran from his car and that the officer took aim and shot him several times.

By the time the ambulance showed up, the man was dead, and had suffered five bullet wounds to the head, according to an emergency worker. The shooter was also treated for bruises sustained during the crash. He was arrested by fellow Civil Guard officers and taken to the command post in Tres Cantos (Madrid).

The suspect’s first statement was to say that he acted “in legitimate self-defense.” No weapon was found on his victim.

Ángel Luis V. J. was stationed in Quintanar de la Orden, where he performed citizen safety duties. His father had been a Civil Guard officer before him.

He was on medical leave because of back problems, and had not been asked to turn in his gun as is mandatory for psychological-related leaves.

Investigators are now reviewing camera footage to see whether the car chase, crash and shooting were captured by any of the units operated by the Traffic Authority (DGT).

A saliva sample taken from Ángel Luis V. J. was sent to the National Toxicology Institute to determine the precise levels of cannabis in his system at the time of the incident.

This is the 12th violent death so far this year in the Madrid region, according to estimates. Last year ended with 31 homicides.

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