Jul 9, 2010 4:10 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

DA's Office issues report on Officer Involved Shooting

The District Attorney's Office investigated an officer-involved shooting in Colorado Springs. Its final report was released Friday afternoon. Here's a complete transcript --

"The District Attorney's Office has concluded its' investigation of the officer involved shooting that occurred on June 4, 2010 and issues the following report:

Any time a law enforcement officer fires his weapon and a person is injured or killed, the Office of the District Attorney conducts an independent investigation. The Office of the District Attorney then reviews the incident and determines if any criminal laws were violated by the law enforcement officer shooting his/her weapon. The independent investigation consists of interviewing witnesses, to include the law enforcement officers who fired their weapons. Investigators from the District Attorney's Office conducted the interviews in this case. Physical evidence is carefully examined. Forensic evidence is reviewed.

C.R.S. 18-1-707(2) allows for a peace officer to use deadly force if he reasonably believes it necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the imminent use of a deadly physical force or to effect an arrest of a person whom he reasonably believes has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon.

On May 25, 2010, Deputies of the Boulder Sheriff's Office attempted to stop a car for a traffic violation. A high speed chase ensued. The driver eventually abandoned the car and got away on foot. The Boulder Sheriff's Office investigation determined the driver of the car was Gregory Taylor Burns (DOB 01/16/83) and that he had an outstanding arrest warrant for a Parole Violation issued by the Colorado Department of Corrections. Investigators with the Boulder Sheriff's Office, acting undercover, arranged to buy 1 ounce of cocaine from Gregory Burns. Mr. Burns wished to make this sale in Colorado Springs. The Boulder Sheriff's Office then sought the assistance of the Colorado Springs Police Department and the Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence (VNI) Unit. The sale was arranged to occur on June 4, 2010 in Colorado Springs.

Gregory Burns changed the specific location of the drug sale minutes before the transaction was to occur, to a shopping center in the 3500 block of North Carefree Circle. The VNI Detectives and Boulder Sheriff's Office Detectives made arrangements to meet him there. The Detectives also arranged to have the SWAT Team present to aid in his arrest for the outstanding warrant.

Mr. Burns arrived at the shopping center and circled the parking lot in the car he was driving. He appeared to pay particular attention to the area where the SWAT Team was concealed. Mr. Burns then drove to the area where the team was positioned, exited his vehicle and more closely examined the area where the SWAT team was positioned. The head of the SWAT Team, Sgt. Ron Sheppard, decided to arrest Mr. Burns. The SWAT team moved from their position and yelled "Police, don't move." Mr. Burns ran. The Police chased him and yelled commands several times such as, "Police stop, get on the ground." Mr. Burns did not obey any of the commands and led the police across North Carefree Circle into an apartment complex. Two officers chased him on the East side of building 3504 heading north. When he got to the end of the building, he turned and ran around the building going in a westward direction. Sgt. Sheppard ran along the West side of the building to cut him off. Sgt. Sheppard saw Mr. Burns going up the stairs at 3504 N. Carefree. Sgt. Sheppard stated he ran across the grass and followed the suspect up the stairs. When the suspect got to the landing, he went down the hallway and began kicking the door to his left. Sgt. Sheppard yelled "Police! Get on the ground!" The suspect continued kicking the door. Sgt. Sheppard yelled commands to the suspect multiple times but, the suspect did not respond. The suspect then dropped his head forward in a defeated motion and turned and pointed a gun at Sgt. Sheppard. Sgt. Sheppard drew his gun and fired 4 shots at Mr. Burns. Three shots struck Mr. Burns and he fell to the ground. Police then recovered a loaded and chambered Browning 9mm handgun from Mr. Burns and medical help was called to the scene immediately. Mr. Burns was transported to Penrose Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

An autopsy was conducted on June 5, 2010 by Dr. Robert Bux. The cause of death was determined to be a bullet wound that perforated the aorta.

Of the four shots fired: Two bullets were recovered during the autopsy. A third shot was a through and through wound in his arm that ended up in the wall of the apartment behind Mr. Burns. A fourth shot was recovered in the wall of the apartment behind him.

Two baggies of a white powdery substance, (which presumptively tested positive for cocaine) and a stolen I.D. were found in Mr. Burns's pockets.

Applying the facts to the applicable law, the District Attorney's Office concludes that no criminal laws were violated and pursuant to Colorado Laws regarding self defense, the officers' use of force was reasonable and justified."



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