Navasota officer won't face charges for fatally shooting teen

NAVASOTA, TX (KTRK) -- A Harris County grand jury has no billed a Navasota police officer who was off duty when he shot and killed a 17-year-old during a confrontation.

Neither the officer involved nor the family of the dead teenager would talk about the grand jury's decision as they left court. Those jurors weighed what happened last November in the villages of Copperfield apartments off Park Point Drive and Highway 6.

Jonathan Santellana died after a confrontation with off-duty Navasota police officer Rey Garza, who lived in the complex.

At the time, investigators said Garza worked security there and told them he saw suspicious activity, possibly involving drugs, in a parked car.

When he approached, Garza said the driver threw the car in reverse and hit him, so he opened fire. But a woman with Santellana told Eyewitness News Garza never identified himself as an officer when he approached with a gun. Thinking they were being robbed, they took off.

Garza was placed on administrative leave. Santellana's family called for justice.

Now, 9 months later, both have had their day in court and a grand jury found there wasn't enough evidence to indict Garza.
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