Cripple Creek officer justified in shooting

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. (KKTV) - A police chase on Highway 67 ended violently after the suspect allegedly attacked the law enforcement officers.

Jeffrey Bader (Photo courtesy: CSPD)

On Thursday, the officer who used his weapon was justified in the shooting after the suspect reportedly put her in a chokehold and threatened to kill her.

At least one shot was fired during the struggle, striking the suspect. A Teller County sheriff's deputy and a Cripple Creek police officer were also hurt in the confrontation.

The incident started at 8:14 p.m. on May 20 when deputies and police responded to reports of a suspicious person seen on the highway near Cripple Creek.

"When deputies arrived on scene with the assistance of the Cripple Creek Police Department, the suspicious person took off in a vehicle, which resulted in a pursuit," said Lt. Howard Black with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

The chase was short-lived, ending when the suspect crashed his car several blocks from the casinos. He then "attacked" the law enforcement officers who approached his vehicle, Black said.

"He immediately got out of his car and attacked an officer from the Cripple Creek Police Department and a deputy from the Teller County Sheriff's Office," Black told 11 News. "At least one shot was fired at the scene. The suspect was hit by a round."

All involved, including the suspect, sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Black declined to comment on whether law enforcement and the suspect traded gunfire before he was hit and would not provide any more details about what led up to the chase.

But he told 11 News Sunday night's call began as fairly routine -- and could have easily turned fatal.

"Our officers and deputies throughout the Pikes Peak region are constantly engaged with very dangerous contacts. Officers and deputies aren’t sure what their initial contact might be. Sometimes just as simple as a suspicious person call. It’s a very routine call. This turned out to be something that could’ve been deadly.”

The suspect was identified 52-year-old Jeffrey Bader. Bader had a Texas driver's license with him at the time of his arrest, but his current residence is unknown.

Bader faces charges of first-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault and vehicular eluding.

CSPD is heading the investigation, as is standard in law enforcement shootings. State law mandates that an outside agency investigate officer-involved shootings.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office sent out the following statement on Friday:

The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the Cripple Creek Police Department’s Officer-involved shooting that occurred on May 20, 2018, in Teller County, Colorado. Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute 16-2.5-301 Peace Officer-involved shooting investigations – protocol, all officer-involved shootings that result in injury or death shall be reviewed by a multi-agency team, a Deadly Force Investigation Team.

Following a careful review of the facts and evidence, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has concluded that Cripple Creek Police Officer Karr was justified when she fired her weapon on May 20, 2018, striking Jeffrey Boyd Bader. Colorado Revised Statute 20-1-114 states that a district attorney shall, if no criminal charges are filed following the completion of an investigation pursuant to section 16-2.5-301, C.R.S., release a report and publicly disclose the report explaining the district attorney’s findings, including the basis for the decision not to charge the officer with any criminal conduct. This is an abbreviated report due to the open and pending case against Jeffrey Bader.

On May 20, 2018 at 8:15 p.m., the Teller County Sheriff’s Office and the Cripple Creek Police Department responded to a suspicious person in a car parked outside of the mine located on CO-67, between Victor and Cripple Creek, Colorado. Upon arriving at that location, Teller County Sheriff’s Deputy Bisset found Jeffrey Boyd Bader slumped over the steering wheel, asleep, with the engine running and the vehicle in drive. When the deputy tapped on the window, Mr. Bader suddenly accelerated and drove off. A high speed chase ensued with speeds reaching 90 miles per hour. Approximately five minutes into the pursuit, Jeffrey Bader crashed his vehicle into a guard rail. When Deputy Bisset approached the vehicle, Mr. Bader came out of his car and attacked him. As Officer Karr went to Deputy Bisset’s aid, Mr. Bader attacked her, wrapping his forearm around her throat and neck. Before Officer Karr went to the ground he yelled, “I’m going to kill her.” Officer Karr then shot Mr. Bader in the leg and arrested him. He has since recovered from his injury and faces charges including Attempted 1st Degree Murder-After Deliberation, a Class 2 Felony. His next court appearance is a plea hearing, which is set for September 4, 2018 in Teller County, Colorado. As with all defendants, Jeffrey Bader is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Colorado Revised Statutes §18-1-707 provides that 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.

The District Attorney’s Office reviews all incidents involving a discharged weapon by an officer. The facts and evidence from this investigation show that Cripple Creek Police Officer Karr acted reasonably. Thus, based on the law and the facts, the investigation has determined that her actions were justified under the law of the State of Colorado. No criminal charges will be pursued.