ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A St. Pete police Command Review Board found that an officer was justified in killing an armed suspect in September.
The announcement comes less than a month after the State Attorney’s Office concluded that Officer Stephen York killed suspect Cody Kiley in a “justifiable homicide.” The Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force also investigated the shooting and found that the officer’s actions were lawful.
St. Pete police said the Review Board found no evidence that Officer York violated department policies or city laws.
On Sept. 12, officers got a call from a woman at around 3:00 a.m., who said she was hiding in the bathroom with her grandchild after Kiley threatened her with a gun. According to the State Attorney’s Office, Kiley and the victims were related.
The grandmother told police she woke up to Kiley screaming and breaking things in her granddaughter’s bedroom. The woman took the child to her room, but Kiley began following her, reportedly screaming and putting a gun to her head.
Officers arrived at the scene around 10 minutes later and found Kiley outside between the house and the fence. Police said he was holding a gun when they found him and refused to drop it.
Officer York approached with his K9, Loki, and commanded the Kiley to drop his gun. The State Attorney’s Office said the dog attacked his ankle, but still did not comply with officers, and when the dog jumped onto his chest, Kiley pointed the weapon at officers.
Officer York fired at Kiley, hitting him five times, and killing him.
A toxicology report found Kiley had alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of his death. The State Attorney’s Office said the victim told police Kiley was behaving strangely in the days leading up to the incident – messing with firearms, making strange statements, and expressing suicidal ideation.