No charges will be filed against any of the Redmond police officers who were involved in a shooting that left 39-year-old mother Andrea Churna dead in the hallway outside of her own apartment.
Churna was shot and killed by Redmond Police Officer Daniel Mendoza after she called 911 for help on Sept. 20, 2020. While there was a weapon inside of her home, she was found to be unarmed when she was shot with a police rifle.
Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe issued a statement on Aug. 7 regarding the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s Public Integrity Team’s decision to decline to file charges.
According to a report from the Seattle Times, Mendoza had been dismissed as a Whatcom County sheriff’s deputy 14 months prior to Churna’s death for poor performance.
In April 2022, the Redmond City Council voted to approve a $7.5 million wrongful-death settlement to Churna’s family.
In Chief Lowe’s statement, he acknowledged that Mendoza is no longer with the Redmond Police Department.
The statement reads as follows:
Dear Redmond Community,
Last week the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s Public Integrity Team released their filing determination regarding Andrea Churna, who was shot and killed by a Redmond police officer on Sept. 20, 2020.
The Public Integrity Team issued a Decline Memorandum, recommending that no criminal charges be filed against any officers present during this incident.
When the shooting occurred, the policy in place at that time does not allow me to specifically elaborate on the internal findings until the conclusion of the inquest process (that policy has since been revised).
Per policy, Officer Mendoza, who fired the fatal shots, was put on paid administrative leave following the incident. As of October 2022, Officer Mendoza is no longer an employee of the Redmond Police Department.
I have acknowledged that mistakes occurred that night. As a result of the multiple investigations, we have refined our policies and procedures to align with industry best practices. These include access to additional less-lethal options, implementing a body-worn and in-car camera program, and increasing mental health resources.
While nothing can bring Ms. Churna back, we are continuously striving to improve the quality of service our first responders provide our Redmond community in order to prevent another tragic loss of life.
We will continue communicating throughout this process with our community.
Chief Darrell Lowe