Friday, September 25, 2015

UPDATE: Sheriff's Office looks at fatal shooting

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:38 AM

The public won't know for awhile some details of the shooting, because the person killed is a juvenile and autopsy tests are pending. From the Sheriff's Office:
The autopsy was conducted this morning on the suspect in the Officer Involved Shooting. His name will not be released as he is a juvenile.

The cause and manner of death will be determined once toxicology reports come back in a few weeks.
In addition, this just in from the DA's office on how officer-involved shootings are now being investigated:
The law now requires that all officer-involved shootings be investigated by an outside law enforcement agency.

There is new protocol in the Pikes Peak Region, pursuant to a law passed by the Colorado Legislature in May. The current investigation is being conducted pursuant to that new law and protocol. The new legislation specifically requires that the District Attorney's Office is no longer the lead investigative agency in officer-involved shootings. We did have prosecutors and investigators on the scene and, in accordance with the law, the DA's Office will make any charging decisions.    

——————————-ORIGINAL POST 10:33 P.M. FRIDAY SEPT. 25, 2015————————————————————————
A citizen was shot and killed by a Fountain police officer on Thursday after the department was called at 2:40 p.m. to a "disturbance," according to a Fountain Police Department statement. The shooting took place in the 700 block of Legend Oak Drive, a newer neighborhood north of Fountain's core area.
click to enlarge Sheriff Elder: Not involved directly in the investigation of his former subordinates. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Sheriff Elder: Not involved directly in the investigation of his former subordinates.

"Officers responded to the scene and upon arrival officers were involved in a shooting," the statement said. "Standard shooting protocol has been initiated and the El Paso County Sheriff’s office has been requested under our officer involved shooting protocol. Condition of the person that was shot is unknown at this time. When further information becomes available we will release it at that time."

News agencies later reported the man died a few hours later at a local hospital.

So the Sheriff Department is taking charge of the investigation — the same department that's now run by Bill Elder, who until he became sheriff in late December 2014, served as Fountain's deputy police chief. (Fountain's former chief, Todd Evans, joined the Sheriff's Department earlier this year to oversee administrative functions, including human resources, IT, records, and budgeting and finance. He's not connected to the investigations division.)

We asked whether the sheriff's office taking the lead on the investigation might give the appearance of a conflict, given Elder's history with the Fountain PD. In response, Elder's spokesperson Jackie Kirby responded via email:
We do not see this as a conflict of interest for many reasons. We are following the new protocol put in place by agency agreement with all law enforcement agencies in the 4th Judicial District to include the DA's Office. The Sheriff is not involved in investigating this case. It is being headed up by our Commander of Investigations, Richard Hatch and his team of Detectives. It is important to note, we are just investigating the facts of the case. The Sheriff's Office does not make any recommendations, just reports findings.

The Colorado Springs Police Department investigated the Sheriff's Office Officer Involved Shooting at Hobby Lobby earlier this year. You will see any Officer Involved Shooting investigated by an impartial, uninvolved local law enforcement agency, shadowed by the agency involved in conjunction with the DA's Office. The findings will then be submitted to the DA's Office for review and filing determination.

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