LA HABRA, CA — Orange County prosecutors cleared a La Habra police officer of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a suspect, who shot an officer last year, the OC District Attorney’s Office reported.

The decision to clear Officer Abigail Fox of criminal conduct in the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Matthew-Tuan Anh Tran of Anaheim on Aug. 6,2021 was detailed in a letter to the La Habra Police Department Chief Adam Foster dated Nov. 18.

Dramatic bodycam footage of a deadly gunfight between police officers and a suspect in front of the La Habra police station was released by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Monday.

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The video shows Tran pull a handgun from his waistband and shoot an officer twice, hitting him in the chest before another officer returned fire, striking the suspect with three of her five rounds.

The suspect was later identified as Tran. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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The officer, identified as Officer Mark Milward, was shot and injured after one of Tran’s bullets breached his bulletproof vest and hit him in the upper chest. He spent a week in the hospital before finishing his recovery at home, reports said.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the shooting and said Monday that the officer who shot Tran acted in a “reasonable and justified” manner under the circumstances.

The shooting occurred on Aug. 6 2021, after a woman called 911 to report a person she did not know following and tailgating her on the Interstate 5 freeway while she was driving home from work in La Habra, according to a report published by the OCDA.

Emergency responders told the woman to pull in front of the La Habra police station on North Euclid Street. The other driver, traveling in a 1998 Toyota Camry, followed her to the station and started trying to enter the front lobby of the building, the report said.

The police station’s lobby was closed but soon Fox and Milward arrived to talk to the man, who was later identified as Tran. Tran said he was trying to see someone inside of the building. As Milward took a few steps back, the video shows Tran pull a gun and fire, the video shows.

Fox then returned fire, shooting five rounds. Tran was later pronounced dead by paramedics. He was shot in the head, the right torso and the right thigh, authorities said.

Tran had amphetamine, marijuana and methamphetamine in his system, autopsy reports said.

“Officer Fox did not have time to de-escalate the situation or use less-lethal force because Tran was already firing at Officer Milward,” The OCDA report said. “Officer Fox fired in defense of Officer Milward. Officer Fox also feared for her life as well as (the woman’s). Additionally, Officer Fox feared for the lives of civilians in the area.”


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