Six months after a SWAT team fired 71 shots at Marine vet Jose Guerena Ortiz while his family watched in their Tucson, Arizona home, no one has been charged with the brutal slaying that left a father, husband and hero dead.
The Guerena’s were caught by surprise on May 5 of this year by a knock at the door. It was still early in the morning and they weren’t expecting anyone, so Jose, a 27-year-old veteran with two tours of Iraq under his belt, grabbed a gun from their closet while his wife and 4-year-old son hid. Guerena never used the rifle — he didn’t have time. Still unaware of what was happening, Guerena was ambushed by a team of SWAT officers. In seconds they knocked down his door, aimed and fired dozens of times.
According to Christopher Scileppi, the family’s attorney, the killing was “grotesque” and“almost a caricature of an overly excited group of poorly trained law enforcement agents.”
To the county prosecutor, however, the killing was justified and no charges have been brought against the guilty parties.
The Tucson police were carrying out a warrant against Guerena on suspicion of drug charges earlier this year. He has been linked to drug trafficking before, but never directly. Never, in fact, had any charges been filed against him. In a handful of incidents, Guerena had been in the same place at the same time as others holding narcotics and paraphernalia, but never had law enforcement linked him personally to drugs.
“When you back up and look at why they’re there in the first place and whether the search warrant was proper, my mind starts struggling,” former SWAT officer Chuck Drago tells the Associated Press. “There are a lot of things that don’t make a lot of sense.” Drago adds that it is doubtful that the SWAT team had any probable cause to go after Guerena, especially in the way they did.
Perhaps most illogical is that half a year after the Vanessa and Joel Guerea lost their husband and father, no one involved in the killing highly viewed as unjust and unnecessary have been charged.