NewsLocal News


Former deputy charged with murder after allegedly shooting unarmed detainee

Posted at 4:24 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 19:27:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego County District Attorney announced Monday that criminal charges have been filed against a former San Diego Sheriff’s deputy accused of fatally shooting a detainee.

Former deputy Aaron Russell, 23, is being charged with murder in the second degree after being accused of shooting and killing Nicholas Bils, 36, who escaped from a California State Park Officer’s car outside San Diego Central Jail on May 1.

Bils was allegedly running away from officers unarmed when he was shot. He was initially arrested for reportedly threatening a ranger with a golf club at Old Town San Diego State Park.

RELATED: San Diego County sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot escaped detainee resigns from department

“We reached the decision to file criminal charges following a thorough review of all the objective facts and evidence in this case by specialized prosecutors and investigators in our Special Operations Division,” said San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan.

“When a life is taken, we must make decisions based in facts and law, and not ones that are influenced by the status of the accused as a peace officer nor the status of the victim. These decisions must be made solely in the interest of justice and not based on favoritism nor public opinion. Every person must be accountable under the law,” she continued.

Russell is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.