DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Scott County Attorney's Office has found a Davenport police officer's use of force was justified, after an investigation into a fatal shooting between a man and the officer on June 8, 2022.
Davenport Police Officer Michael Catton responded to a call of a suspicious man behind the Casey's gas station shortly before 1 a.m. near the intersection of 53rd and North Division Streets.
"The reason for the call that night is that there was an adult white male outside (south) of the store who was on the phone and making noises as if working with tools," said Assistant Scott County Attorney Calen Copley.
When the officer arrived, Jason Morales was identified as the reported subject and told officers that his motorcycle had broken down and he was waiting to be picked up.
The situation remained calm until officer Catton informs Morales that he had outstanding warrants and would be put under arrest.
"As Mr. Morales starts running, he immediately reaches into the same waistband area and pulls out a handgun," Copley said.
Morales then fired a shot, and officer Catton returned fire.
"Given the continued threat to his life, officer Catton fires an additional shot in the direction of Mr. Morales' head. That fourth shot hits and Mr. Morales falls to the ground," Copley said.
Morales was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
"As part of the investigation, law enforcement also learned that Mr. Morales had previously spoken about suicide by cop if he was going to have to be taken into arrest on outstanding warrants," Copley said.
The forensic investigation after the incident showed that Morales' gun was fully loaded but jammed during the confrontation.
"The act of shooting at him and continuing to point the gun at him, certainly Officer Catton was justified in using the deadly force that he did," Copley said.