DA Rules Officer Who Shot Suspect Was Justified

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The district attorney's office ruled that an officer who shot a suspect at a home in Colorado Springs was justified.

The DA's office says its investigation found that Laurence Rowley pointed a gun at the officer as he walked toward him and refused to lower or put the gun down.

The officer reportedly fired one shot and hit Rowley in the shoulder. He was then taken to the hospital.

The incident started shortly after 11 p.m. on May 20 when police received the first of two calls saying that Rowley may be a danger to himself and others. The same caller reportedly made a second call about 12 minutes later.

According to the DA's office, the calls were prompted by a pair of voicemails left by Rowley, in which he stated he had shot his German Shepherd and made threats against other family members who live in Colorado Springs.

Officers were advised that Rowley has a history of mental illness, had access to firearms and may have been drinking and mixing medications. Rowley was reportedly threatening to shoot anyone who came into the house.

When officers arrived at the home on Summer Grace Street, they made contact with Rowley on the phone, but the DA's office says he hung up on them when police would not tell him who had called 911.

Before hanging up he reportedly told them someone had shot his dog.

When police called him back, Rowley allegedly said something along the lines of "I'm sorry I have to do this." The garage door then opened and Rowley allegedly appeared pointing a 9 mm handgun at an officer outside the home. Officers began yelling commands at Rowley, who allegedly ignored them all and continued to walk towards an officer with gun pointed.

That officer fired at Rowley once, striking him in the shoulder.

An investigation revealed bullet holes in an interior door and the garage door that appear to be from a shot that was fired inside the home. A neighbor reported hearing a shot before police arrived.

Three dogs were found inside the home, including a German Shepherd. None of the dogs were hurt during the incident.

The DA's office says that under Colorado law, an officer is justified in using deadly force "if he or she reasonably believes that it is necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the imminent use of deadly physical force."

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