Shelbyville City Manager Ed Craig e-mailed the following statement to NewsChannel 5:
The broad facts of this case are straightforward. The officers responded to a call from a woman concerned about men in her backyard, one of whom was carrying a weapon. When the officers arrived, they went into the wooded areas behind the complainant's house in the direction of where the men had gone. When they came upon the men, the police shouted at the men to alert them of their presence. Mr. Estrada turned and fired at the officers; Officer Wilkerson returned fire, striking Mr. Estrada in the head. The investigation of this incident was conducted by the TBI, which provided a report to the District Attorney General which exonerated Officer Wilkerson from any wrongdoing, demonstrated that his report of the facts was supported by the evidence, and that he acted properly in accordance with police policy. The autopsy report showed that Mr. Estrada, who has two prior arrests here for public intoxication and one for possession of a firearm, had a blood alcohol level of 1.8%, more than twice the legal limit. Mr. Estrada may have been on his property when the incident occurred, but he was in a wooded area in the rear of his property, and not in his "backyard."
This has been a sad and difficult situation for all involved. Our sympathy goes out to the Estrada family, and also to Officer Wilkerson and his family. Our responsibility as a municipality and a police department is first and foremost public safety, however. The officers responded to a trespassing man carrying a gun, who turned out to be legally intoxicated; they called for him to halt and his response was to fire his 45 caliber semi-automatic weapon at them. One officer returned fire to protect himself and his fellow officer; he acted properly in defense of himself and the peace of our community.