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County attorney: No charges filed in death of Christopher Cameron

Union County Attorney Tim Kenyon announced this morning no charges will be filed in the shooting death of Christopher J. Cameron, 31, on Aug. 14 in McKinley Park.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Union County Dispatch Center received a 911 call at approximately 11:55 p.m. Aug. 13 in reference to a report of a male subject with a gun sitting on a bench in McKinley Park. The Creston Police Department and the Union County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

Upon arriving in the area, law enforcement members located a male subject, later identified as Cameron, on a bench in McKinley Park. Law enforcement officers confronted the male subject and tried speaking with him for several minutes. The subject advanced on law enforcement officers, who ordered the male subject to stop and show his hands. The subject refused to obey the orders of the officers and then advanced quickly on the officers. An officer with the Creston Police Department, later identified as Sergeant Jared Auten, engaged the subject and fired his weapon, striking the male subject. The subject was given immediate medical aid, but later died from his injuries.

In a letter to Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer, Kenyon said following an investigation completed by Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Investigation, he has ruled the death of Cameron a justifiable homicide.

“Officers reasonably believed the situation to be life-threatening,” Kenyon wrote in the letter. “Even after Mr. Cameron began advancing toward officers they did not respond. Force was only utilized when Mr. Cameron acted in an offensive/aggressive manner by attempting to draw [a firearm] on officers as he moved into closer proximity to armed officers.”

Kenyon said action was taken only after repeated warnings and that Auten acted within the scope of his lawful duty as a peace officer in a life-threatening situation.

The report generated by DCI included interviews of law enforcement officers involved, crime scene analysis and video and audio recordings made at the time of the shooting. Kenyon also reviewed the autopsy report.

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