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Denton officer who fatally shot Darius Tarver won't face disciplinary action, department says

The investigation determined that department training, procedures and policies in place at the time were followed.

DENTON, Texas — Note: The video above is from March when a grand jury issued a no-bill in relation to Tarver's death.

The Denton Police Department announced Thursday that an officer who fatally shot a college student in 2020 will not face disciplinary action.

An internal investigation conducted by Internal Affairs division has been concluded, the department said. The investigation determined that department training, procedures and policies in place at the time were followed based upon the totality of the circumstances on the scene, the department said. 

Darius Tarver, 23, was shot and killed by police officers on Jan. 21, 2020 outside his apartment at a student apartment complex in Denton. Police told WFAA that the night of the incident officers responded to calls of someone acting erratically at the apartment complex Forum at Denton Station on Inman Street.

The investigation's findings were presented to the officer's chain of command and Police Chief Frank Dixon on April 15. Dixon and the officer's chain of command came to a unanimous agreement after considerable deliberation, the department said.

"This decision does not minimize the tragic events of that night, which resulted in the death of Darius Tarver," the department said.

The involved officer had been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

In March, a Denton County grand jury issued a no-bill to the officer involved in Tarver's death. The family's lawyer, Lee Merritt, told WFAA they were shocked and disappointed at the jury's decision.

Just one week before his death, Darius had survived a bad car accident where family told WFAA the roads were icy that day. The crash put him in the ICU and he was released from the hospital the next day.

RELATED: 'I will never hear his voice again': Parents of UNT student killed by police react to the body camera footage

The night of the shooting, multiple people called 911 saying a man was banging on numerous doors and yelling for people to open them up. 

Authorities said Darius had a frying pan and a meat cleaver in his hands the night of the shooting, didn’t obey commands and charged at officers after being tased.

An officer was stabbed during the confrontation but was treated and released from the hospital, police said.

Merritt said the police department should've handled it differently because Darius was in a mental health crisis.

"Four officers versus one young student in a mental health crisis could not get to safety, get him to mental health care," Merritt said. "Instead they shot him to death."