COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A deadly officer-involved shooting in Colorado Springs was justified by the District Attorney's Office on Thursday. The suspect killed was reportedly armed with a hatchet, threatening officers and had meth in his system according to authorities.
The shooting happened on Jan. 12 outside the Elevate Apartments. The apartment complex is just west of S. Nevada Avenue and I-25 near downtown. Just after 4 in the morning that day, police report they were called to a disturbance in the apartment's parking lot. One of the officers started running license plates on scene because "he was aware that the complex's parking lot often contained stolen vehicles," according to the DA's office. The officer noticed two vehicles with no front license plates, one of those vehicles had a blanket covering most of the front windshield.
Officer Brock Lofgren, who was wearing a police uniform and driving a marked vehicle, went to check the rear license plates of the vehicles. He noticed someone was sleeping in the truck with a blanket covering the windshield. Officer Lofgren found out the truck had been reported stolen out of Fountain after running the back license plate.
Officer Lofrgren then requested backup and moved his cruiser in front of the truck, according to a release from the District Attorney's Office. Another officer arrived and also used his vehicle to block the stolen truck from leaving.
"The suspect awoke and sat up," the District Attorney's Office wrote in a release. "[The suspect was] looking at Sgt. Peterson, who was on the passenger side of the truck. Officer Lofgren opened the driver's side door, grabbed the suspect's left arm and began giving commands for him to get out of the truck. Sgt. Peterson ran around the back of the truck to help Officer Lofgren. The suspect started the truck and, with both officers inside the door, backed up and then rammed Officer Lofgren's cruiser. Sgt. Peterson, concerned that he would be dragged under the truck if the suspect tried to back up again, reached over and turned off the truck, then removed the keys and threw them into the parking lot. Officer Lofgren attempted to tase the suspect, but was unable to get a good impact stun. The suspect tried to take the taser away, but Officer Lofgren threw it out of the truck."
The release from the DA goes on to describe the struggle between officers and the suspect.
"Sgt. Peterson, who was still bent over in the cab of the truck, was struggling to gain control of the suspect. Officer Lofgren was outside the truck and saw that the suspect was fighting with one hand and reaching around with his other hand. Officer Lofgren then saw the suspect raise an axe or hatchet up in the air, threatening Sgt. Peterson. Officer Lofgren shouted, "Axe, axe, axe," then fired what he believed were three shots, although Sgt. Peterson only heard one. Officer Lofgren saw that the suspect had dropped the axe and stopped fighting so he stopped shooting. Four shell casings were recovered from the scene, and a hatchet was recovered from the truck."
The suspect was identified as 48-year-old Bill Akes. An autopsy report showed he had meth in his system.
None of the officers who were involved in the shooting were hurt, but they were placed on administrative leave due to CSPD policy.