This is a case from Puerto Rico based on a Federal Torts Claim Act (FTCA) claim arising from an altercation when an HSI Special Agent shot the plaintiff (Escalera) who is a known drug trafficker and gang leader when they were clearing the residence prior to executing a search warrant.   The judge ruled in favor of the United States concluding that the Special Agent had not violated clearly established law and Escalera appealed.

In affirming the District Court decision, the First Circuit noted: “The officers had ample reason to suspect danger: (1) They had been warned that Escalera was a gang leader and had guns in the apartment; (2) No one answered the door when beckoned; (3) Escalera did not comply with police commands to show his hands and to remain still; and (4) Escalera “lifted his shirt, reached for his waistband, and moved for cover behind a bedroom wall.”  The court found there were no cases that clearly established the use of deadly force under the facts as given.