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DA’s Office rules Colorado Springs officer was justified in use of deadly force with shoplifting suspect

SCENE PICTURE FROM CHELTON OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING 10/3/21
SCENE PICTURE FROM CHELTON OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING 10/3/21(KKTV)
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 3:27 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced an officer was justified with using deadly force following a shooting on Oct. 3, 2021 in Colorado Springs.

The shooting occurred near the Walmart at 3201 E. Platte Avenue. According to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Springs Police Department officer was notified by Walmart Loss Prevention that a “suspicious” person was seen leaving the store without paying for items. The suspect was later identified as David Jacques.

The news release from the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office shared with the public on Friday details what happened next:

“Officer Gardner contacted Mr. Jacques in the Walmart parking lot and informed him that he was under arrest for shoplifting but that it was just a ticket,” part of the news release reads. “Mr. Jacques replied ‘okay’ before he reached into his pocket. Officer Gardner told Mr. Jacques to stop reaching into his pocket and tried to grab his arm. Mr. Jacques then ran away on foot and Officer Gardner ran after him. Mr. Jacques continued to reach into his pocket as Officer Gardner gave chase.”

The investigation revealed that the officer told Jacque he was going to tase him as he was chasing him. At one point, the officer lost sight of the suspect before locating him hiding under a parked car in the 200 block of N. Chelton Road.

“Officer Gardner notified CSPD Communications that he had found Mr. Jacques in the 200 block of North Chelton Road. Officer Gardner immediately gave commands to Mr. Jacques to come out and again notified him that it was ‘just a ticket,’” the news release adds. “Mr. Jacques continued to ignore the commands given by Officer Gardner. Officer Gardner did observe Mr. Jacques moving and partially push himself from under the vehicle. Officer Gardner was holding his taser and again told Mr. Jacques that he would use the taser. Officer Gardner fired his taser, but Mr. Jacques continued to be noncompliant and showed no signs of being hit by the taser. Officer Gardner dropped his taser and transitioned to his duty weapon. Officer Gardner then heard one gunshot fired by Mr. Jacques and believed Mr. Jacques was firing at him. Officer Gardner then fired two shots from his duty handgun, striking Mr. Jacques twice.”

Jacques was taken to a hospital where he eventually died. According to the DA’s Office, the officer who fired shots had a body-worn camera system that did not record the incident, “despite his attempts to activate it during his search for Jacques.” The investigation also revealed the weapon Jacques had was reported loss and the vehicle Jacques was using that day had been reported lost. Jacques had multiple active warrants for his arrest at the time of the shooting.

Analysis and conclusion from the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office:

“Officer Gardner was justified in his use of deadly force during this incident. Mr. Jacques posed an immediate threat to Officer Gardner as he fired a handgun as Officer Gardner was attempting to take him into custody. Mr. Jacques died as the result of gunshot wounds caused by two bullets fired by Officer Gardner. This was a Homicide, but the use of deadly physical force by Officer Gardner was justified. Officer Gardner considered and used less lethal options and only turned to use of deadly physical force after Mr. Jacques shot at him creating an imminent deadly threat. The shot was in the direction of a busy street, creating a possible deadly risk to the greater community.

In making this determination the facts of this case must be analyzed in light of CRS 18-1-704 and CRS18-1-707:

C.R.S. § 18-1-704 sets forth the standards for the use of force in defense of a person:

(1) … a person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he may use a degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for that purpose.

(2) Deadly physical force may be used only if a person reasonably believes a lesser degree of force is inadequate and (a) The actor has a reasonable ground to believe, and does believe, that he or another person is in imminent danger of being killed or of receiving great bodily injury.miss

C.R.S. § 18-1-707 sets forth the standard for use of physical force in making an arrest or in preventing an escape:

(1) Peace officers, in carrying out their duties, shall apply nonviolent means, when possible, before resorting to the use of physical force. A peace officer may use physical force only if nonviolent means would be ineffective in effecting an arrest, preventing an escape, or preventing an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to the peace officer or another person.

(3) A peace officer is justified in using deadly physical force to make an arrest only when all other means of apprehension are unreasonable given the circumstances and: (a) The arrest is for a felony involving conduct including the use or threatened use of deadly physical force; (b) The suspect poses an immediate threat to the peace officer or another person; (c) The force employed does not create a substantial risk of injury to other persons.

After completing a thorough review of the facts and evidence the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has determined the use of deadly physical force by Colorado Springs Police Department Officer Chase Gardner was justified under the law of the State of Colorado.”

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