District attorney rules police shooting justified

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

The district attorney’s office has concluded the shooting of a Clovis man by a Texas Department of Public Safety Officer in November was justified and has obtained an indictment against Jawayne Helfferich for fleeing officers.

District Attorney Matt Chandler said Thursday his office reviewed an investigation conducted by state police that included statements of multiple officers who witnessed the pursuit and shooting, Helfferich’s mother, who was a passenger in his vehicle during the pursuit, as well as video footage captured by patrol unit cameras.

Chandler said his office can not release footage of the shooting due to the pending criminal case against Helfferich.

Helfferich, 39, was shot five times by Texas DPS officer Joel Rejino when he led Texas law enforcement from three departments on a 40-mile pursuit into northern Curry County after fleeing from a traffic stop near Friona on Nov. 8.

“The Texas DPS officer exited his parked patrol vehicle and took a defensive posture at the rear of his patrol vehicle by setting up a one man road block and the suspect’s vehicle began to veer towards him in an aggressive manner and came within inches of him,” Chandler said.

Chandler said evidence shows the officer simultaneously fired multiple shots into