CRIME

Cop Who Fatally Shot Unarmed Suspect Resigns

03/24/2015 06:33 pm ET | Updated May 24, 2015

March 24 (Reuters) - An Omaha police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man suspected of robbing a store in late February has resigned, the police department said on Tuesday.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer accepted the resignation of Officer Alvin Lugod, 31, who had been on administrative leave since the shooting, the department said in a statement. A grand jury cleared Lugod earlier this month.

Lugod shot Danny Elrod, 39, in the back in a confrontation minutes after Elrod allegedly robbed a Family Dollar store on Feb. 23.

The shooting came at a time of heightened attention toward police shootings after a grand jury in November declined to indict white Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18, an unarmed black man.

Lugod was described by police as an Asian/Pacific Islander. Elrod was white.

Police said they were responding to the Family Dollar store robbery when they found Elrod near another business, He refused to show them his hands or to get on the ground, instead climbing onto the hood of a vehicle, police said.

An officer tried to stop Elrod with a Taser, but he pulled the wires out, and Elrod was turned toward other officers when Lugod fired, police said.

Elrod proved to be unarmed, but said he had a gun and repeatedly went into his waistband in a threatening manner and told officers to shoot him, Schmaderer said at the time.

The shooting was captured on squad car video cameras and the robbery was recorded on store surveillance cameras, police said.

Lugod was also involved in a fatal 2012 police shooting, but was cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, Schmaderer said. (Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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