Crime

Grand jury clears Biloxi police officer in fatal shooting of shoplifting suspect

Investigators review the scene of a fatal shooting involving a Biloxi police officer and a shoplifting suspect on Oct. 11, 2017.
Investigators review the scene of a fatal shooting involving a Biloxi police officer and a shoplifting suspect on Oct. 11, 2017. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

A Harrison County grand jury has cleared a Biloxi police officer of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a man who officials said fled from police and rammed an unmarked vehicle.

The grand jury “finds no criminal conduct” on the part of Officer Ruben Sabio, who shot Vincent Dronet in the head on Oct. 11, 2017, a report said.

The District Attorney’s office released a partial report on the ruling Wednesday.

The grand jury investigated the facts and circumstances and found that “no further action is warranted by this body,” the brief report said.

Partial grand jury reports do not give details.

Raw video of Biloxi Police investigating fatal shooting scene on Popps Ferry Rd at Camp Wilkes Rd

Dronet, 61, was suspected of shoplifting from Home Depot, according to previous news reports. A police official said Dronet tried to use his truck to hit an unmarked police vehicle on Popp’s Ferry Road at Camp Wilkes Road, and an officer fired at him.

Dronet was fleeing in a maroon Dodge Ram pickup about 8 a.m. when a nearby officer in an unmarked vehicle heard about the pursuit on his police radio and went to the scene, police Maj. Christopher De Back said at the time.

Police tried to stop his truck and a fight ensued, and an officer used a Taser to try to subdue him, but he escaped again and shots were fired, De Back said.

Biloxi police turned the investigation over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, standard procedure when an officer is involved in a death. The MBI turned its findings over to the DA’s office for a grand jury review.

The police department placed Sabio on administrative leave with pay.

“The officer has returned to work,” Police Chief John Miller said Wednesday.

Sabio is a veteran police officer who has been with the police department for about 10 years, Miller said, and he had previous law enforcement experience.

First report from shooting in Biloxi. One person is dead.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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