San Diego County DA clears police officer in Midway District shooting

Police car lights

The San Diego County district attorney’s office has determined that the actions of a San Diego police officer in the shooting of a man in the Midway District were legally justified.

Because of the DA’s finding, announced July 1, the officer involved will not be charged criminally.

On Jan. 3, 2019, Ryan Bowers, 25, reportedly had cut his own neck with a knife in a Midway apartment shortly before family members called police for help.

Officers responded, and Bowers’ father led one of them — Officer Matthew Steinbach — to where Bowers was sitting in a darkened room, according to a district attorney’s report. When Steinbach asked Bowers how he was doing, Bowers stood and pulled a knife from the front pocket of his sweatshirt, the report stated.

According to the report, Steinbach drew his gun and ordered Bowers to drop the weapon, but Bowers moved toward Steinbach with the knife drawn.

“Steinbach feared he or Bowers’ father would be stabbed by Bowers and fired two rounds, striking Bowers once in the chest,” the report said.

Bowers was taken to a hospital and recovered. He faced several charges, including exhibiting a deadly weapon to a police officer, and was sent to a mental health diversion program, according to the report.

Bowers’ father told investigators that he could have gotten the knife away from his son and that the officer didn’t need to open fire. In the report, he said that’s why he didn’t want to call 911.


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