Officers and deputies in Clear Creek County failed to de-escalate an interaction with a 22-year-old Boulder man who called for help after crashing his car and they needlessly rushed the incident that ended with a deputy fatally shooting the driver as he sat in his car, experts in mental health and police tactics told The Denver Post.
The law enforcement officers made mistakes and missed opportunities to create a better outcome at nearly every stage of their deadly encounter with Christian Glass, according to experts who reviewed video footage of the June incident.
The first Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputies on scene acted with needless aggression, the group failed to pursue alternative communication options when they couldn’t get Glass to step out of his car, and they created a violent encounter when they broke one of the car’s windows while failing to maintain a safe distance, they said.
The investigation into the sheriff's deputy shooting death of a 22-year-old Boulder man earlier this year will be sent to a county grand jury, the lead prosecutor in Clear Creek County announced Wednesday.
“When a peace officer shoots and wounds or kills another in Colorado, there are specific protocols to investigate and review such matters,” said Heidi McCollum, the Clear Creek County District Attorney. “It is imperative that we reach the right decision and not rush into judgment — in fairness to the family of the victim, and those involved with and impacted by Christian’s death.”
The jury was selected Tuesday and will meet multiple times in November. Glass was killed in June. In these last few months, McCollum has said she was waiting on investigatory documents from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
The terminations of officers Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould came the same day they were indicted by a grand jury in what the sheriff’s office called a “painful but necessary process.”
Buen was indicted on charges of second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment. Gould was indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.
Christian Glass was shot to death inside his car June 11 after he became stranded in the small mountain town of Silver Plume and called for roadside assistance. Officers broke out his window, shot him six times with bean bag rounds, used a Taser multiple times and then shot him five times, according to his family’s attorney.