Teller County deputy-involved shooting in May ruled justified

(Gray News)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 9:21 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A Teller County deputy was justified in shooting an armed suspect near the Park County line in May, the district attorney’s office has determined.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office released its findings to the public Wednesday, stating that the deputy was within his rights to use force.

The shooting happened on May 22 when deputies saw the man walking in the area of Park County Road 94 and noticed he matched the description of the suspect in a menacing incident one day earlier. According to the DA’s findings, the deputies quickly determined the man was the menacing suspect and stopped to talk to him. The suspect allegedly pulled out a gun.

“[The sergeant] continued giving commands to him, ordering him to put the gun down and extending offers of help. The suspect ... refused to comply with the deputy’s commands and continued walking while waving his gun around,” the DA’s office said in a release emailed Wednesday.

The DA’s office continues:

“Sgt. [William] Markus observed the suspect chamber a round and put the gun to his head. Cpl. Sean Boe, who was armed with a Smith & Wesson, M&P AR-15, soon arrived and got in to the passenger side of Sgt. Markus’s vehicle with his gun pointed toward the suspect. Both deputies continued to attempt to verbally engage Rowland in an effort to convince him to drop his weapon, but they were unsuccessful. At one point, as Rowland raised his gun, pointed it toward the officers and charged the vehicle, Cpl. Boe shot one round, striking the suspect in the midsection.”

Rowland was airlifted to the hospital and has since recovered. He faces charges of first-degree assault-threatening a peace officer with a weapon, among other charges.

Under Colorado law, officers are justified in using deadly force “if he or she reasonably believes it necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be imminent use of deadly physical force, or to effect an arrest of a person he reasonably believes has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicated that he is likely to endanger human life or to inflict serious bodily to another unless apprehended without delay.”

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