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DA: Police captain not criminally liable for shooting son

FALLBROOK — A veteran police officer will not be charged criminally for shooting his son during the young man’s assault in which both the officer and his wife were attacked.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office concluded Oceanside Police Capt. Reginald Grigsby Sr. fired in defense of his wife and himself after witnessing his son choking his wife.
“His use of deadly force at the time was reasonable; therefore, he bears no criminal liability for his actions,” Deputy District Attorney Damon Mosler said in a letter dated Nov. 9 that was sent to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
Reginald Grigsby Jr., a former San Diego State football player, pleaded guilty to attacking his mother May 23 in his family’s Fallbrook home.
Desirah Grigsby suffered a broken nose and was choked unconscious.
In lieu of his plea agreement, Grigsby Jr., 25, received one year in local custody when he was sentenced Oct. 16. He had credit for 219 days in custody, and is expected to serve out the remainder of his sentence at a North County treatment facility for his mental health issues. In addition, he will be monitored by the treatment center for the next five years, which coincides with his probation.
Grigsby Jr. was diagnosed at age 17 as schizophrenic, Mosler wrote. At the time of his attack, he admitted to taking his medication only sporadically.
He had been taken to his parent’s home that evening after his girlfriend reported that he had been acting strange, according to the district attorney’s letter. When the Grigsbys tried to discuss his condition and the importance of his medication, Grigsby Jr. grew agitated.
Later in the evening, Grigsby Sr. said he heard his son attack his wife. After being hit in the face and neck as he tried to free her, Grigsby Sr. said he retrieved his .380 handgun and shot his son twice, once in the chest and in the leg, Mosler stated.
According to the letter, Grigsby Sr. recounted the situation for investigators: “He’s sitting on top of her. I said, Reg, get off of her! He got up and I said, ‘Get away! Back up!’ I was thinking my worst fear … was that my wife was either half-dead if not dead. It’s obvious he’s not in his right state of mind. She’s laying there. She’s covered in blood and her face is swollen. She’s not moving. There was no doubt in my mind that he was going back to strangle her. I said ‘Reggie don’t!’ He looked at me for a second then went toward her and I squeezed two rounds.”
He added, “I figured he was either gonna strangle her or he was gonna drag and push her over the rail. He was gonna rush me and push me over the rail. And there was nothing else I could do to stop him.”
Grigsby Sr. has returned to duty, but is awaiting the results of an administrative investigation by his department.
A message left for Grigsby Sr. on his work voicemail was not immediately returned.
In an interview with investigators, Grigsby Jr. acknowledged two prior assaults on his father and sister, which occurred in 2004 and 2008 respectively. In the former assault, his father also suffered a broken nose, according to the letter.
The two assaults resulted in detentions by the sheriff’s department and psychiatric evaluations.
In the current case, Grigsby Jr. told investigators he lost control when his mother grabbed him by the shirt, Mosler stated.
He admitted punching his mother in the face, but didn’t remember how many times, according to the letter. Additionally, he told authorities he heard his father yelling, “Get off her! And though he said he couldn’t recall chocking his mother, he did state, “I could’ve choked her a lot harder.”
At his sentencing, Grigsby Jr. apologized to his family and acknowledged his desire to be treated for his mental health condition.