The Leavenworth police officer who fatally shot a man last year has been fired for violating Police Department policy.

Updated: 4:53 p.m. Jan. 29, 2018

The Leavenworth police officer who fatally shot a man last year has been fired for violating Police Department policy.

Officer Matthew Harrington was terminated from the Leavenworth Police Department on Friday, Police Chief Pat Kitchens announced Monday morning in a news release.

The termination stems from Harrington's actions July 11 at 1708 Rose St. Harrington responded to an incident that involved an argument about the possession of a family vehicle that had resulted from a domestic dispute, according to Kitchens.

Before Harrington arrived, the shooting victim, Antonio Garcia Jr., 47, left the residence. Garcia returned a short time later.

Harrington and Garcia had an encounter in the driveway of the home while Garcia was in a sport utility vehicle. At one point, Harrington fired his duty weapon, resulting in Garcia's death, according to Kitchens.

The Police Department initiated a professional standards investigation to determine if Harrington was in compliance with the department policy that governs the use of deadly force. That investigation concluded Jan. 19.

“I reviewed the contents of that investigation and concluded that Officer Harrington violated that policy,” Kitchens said in the news release.

Attorneys representing Harrington released a statement Monday arguing that the former officer's actions were consistent with the Leavenworth Police Department's use of force policies and procedures.

“He took reasonable and necessary action to protect himself from imminent danger,” stated the release from the law firm of McCauley & Roach. “Officer Harrington disagrees with the decision to discharge his employment, but is confident his name eventually will be cleared.”

Kitchens said he would not comment Monday about how the Police Department's policy was violated because a separate investigation is still ongoing.

“I want that process to remain as independent as possible,” Kitchens said.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has conducted a separate criminal investigation into the shooting.

County Attorney Todd Thompson said in a statement that his office is reviewing the matter and is awaiting requested information.

Thompson said his office is in the process of having an independent expert review evidence.

The county attorney said the standard for terminating an employee based on professional standards is a lower burden than the one used to charge someone with a crime.

Thompson said he hopes the investigation will be wrapped up soon but he cannot say when this will happen.

Kitchens said Harrington had been with the Police Department about 22 months at the time of last year's shooting.

Harrington was placed on leave, or “special pay” status, after the shooting.

He was terminated Friday, but the police chief did not announce the decision until Monday.

Kitchens said he had wanted to visit with family members of Garcia and officers of the Leavenworth Police Department before making a public announcement.

Garcia's wife, Heather, has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly tampering with evidence at the scene after the shooting. That case is still pending.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR