Authorities say it was a Fort Carson soldier who pointed his gun at police Monday evening, prompting an exchange of gunfire that ended in fatal injuries to the servicemember.
According to Fountain police, two officers had responded to the 400 block of Crest in Fountain around 5 p.m., and found Spc. Jonathan Clark inside an SUV holding a gun to his head. The officers said they tried to talk to him, and that's when he pointed his gun at them.
A close friend of 25-year-old Clark was in tears as she spoke with 11 News about her friend Tuesday. She was inside the SUV with Clark just minutes before the shooting, and says he had started having a PTSD episode while they were driving.
His friend tells 11 News that Clark was suicidal and grabbed a gun. She tried to talk him out of it before finally running from the vehicle. The officers showed up a moment later.
Clark died late Monday night from injuries sustained in the shooting. Police say he was shot at least twice, once in the chest and once in the hand. The officers were uninjured.
Clark's friend says he was a loving father who had been suffering from PTSD. According to Clark's military history, he had been deployed three times since 2008, serving in Iraq from 2008-2009, Afghanistan from 2010-2011 and most recently, Kuwait this year. Clark returned from a four-month deployment there in June.
Clark was a member a the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He had been in the Army since 2006, and stationed at Fort Carson since July 2009, shortly after returning from his first deployment. Fort Carson says he received several awards during his military career, including two Army Commendation Medals and four Army Achievement Medals.
The El Paso County district attorney will be investigating the circumstances surrounding this shooting.
The two officers involved are on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation. This is standard procedure following officer-involved shootings.
If you or someone you know ever has suicidal thoughts, there is help available. You can call the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.