The July 31 shooting death of an unarmed 22-year-old Colton man by Colton police was justified, the District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Trevor Taylor was driving a car that had been reported stolen when police tried to pull him over near Ninth and G streets in Colton, Colton police Detective Ray Mendez said in an interview immediately following the shooting.

Police said Taylor sped away from authorities, prompting a chase that ended in the 6900 block of San Francisco Street in Highland.

"At the end of the pursuit, a PIT maneuver was used," Mendez said, describing an effort to stop a pursued car in traffic. "The driver rammed police cars in an attempt to flee, officers fatally wounded the driver."

Officer Todd Smith and Sgts. Steve Davis and Lou E. Gamache were all placed on paid leave following the shooting as required by department policy, Mendez said.

In the report by the District Attorney's Office -- the agency investigating the shooting -- there was no mention by officers or witnesses that Taylor tried to ram the patrol car.

Colton police Officer Todd Smith told investigators that he drew his weapon and pointed it at Taylor and ordered him to keep his hands visible.

Smith said Taylor mouthed the word "OK," then leaned to the passenger side of the car and lowered his hands. Smith believed Taylor was reaching for a weapon, so he shot the Colton man, striking him four times in the upper body, authorities said.


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One witness said the Colton officers were about 10 feet from the car when shots rang out.

According to the investigation, Davis did not fire a round. Smith fired four shots and Gamache fired 16.

Detectives determined from evidence collected at the scene that Taylor was unarmed.

Autopsy results showed Taylor was struck 13 times in the head and chest, the report said.

A toxicology report indicated Taylor had amphetamine and methamphetamine in his blood.

All three officers told investigators they felt their lives were in danger when Taylor leaned to the passenger side of the vehicle and his hands disappeared from their sight.

The District Attorney's Office ruled that the use of lethal force was in self-defense or the defense of others.