Colorado deputies charged, fired after fatal shooting of 22-year-old man who called 911 for help

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Two officers involved in fatal shooting of a Colorado man who called 911 for help after his SUV got stuck this summer have been indicted by a county grand jury and fired from their jobs, officials said.

A grand jury on Wednesday handed down an indictment against Clear Creek County Sheriff’s deputies Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould, Fifth District Attorney Heidi McCollum’s office said in a news release.

Buen has been charged with second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment, while Gould is charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment in the fatal shooting of Christian Glass, 22, of Boulder, it said.

Bond was set at $50,000 for Buen and at $2,500 for Gould. No attorney appeared to be listed for either. NBC News reached out to a LinkedIn account that appeared to belong to Gould for comment, but did not immediately receive a response. Contact information could not be found for Buen.

Image: Christian Glass (Courtesy Rathod Mohammedbhai LLC)

Image: Christian Glass (Courtesy Rathod Mohammedbhai LLC)

The charge comes nearly six months after Glass was fatally shot by a Clear Creek County sheriff on June 11 in Silver Plume, according to his family’s attorneys and the sheriff’s office.

Glass appeared to be holding a knife when he was shot five times after refusing to get out of his Honda Pilot for nearly 70 minutes, according to body camera footage and an autopsy report provided by his family’s attorney.

The 22-year-old had told a 911 dispatcher he had two knives, a hammer and a rubber mallet when asked if he had any weapons, according to call logs. Lawyers for his family said he was an amateur geologist and used the knives, hammer and sledgehammer for his hobby.

The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said that following Wednesday’s indictment, it had terminated the employment of both Buen and Gould.

“The Sheriff reaffirms his commitment to making any necessary changes to try to prevent a horrific situation like this from happening in the future, increase public confidence in the CCSO, and continue to look for every opportunity to improve,” it said in a declaration.

In a June statement, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a call for a “motorist assist” around 11:20 p.m. on June 10.

They arrived and found a single vehicle that appeared to have been involved in an accident, it said. Glass “immediately became argumentative and uncooperative with the deputies and had armed himself with a knife,” the affidavit said.

“Additional law enforcement officers arrived and for over an hour attempted to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution,” it said.

Deputies were able to break windows in the vehicle and remove the knife, but “the suspect rearmed himself with a rock and another knife,” the statement said. “Deputies deployed less lethal bean bags and Tasers with negative results. The suspect eventually tried to stab an officer and was shot.”

An autopsy showed that he had died of gunshot wounds. It also showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.01% and THC in his system, as well as amphetamine, which the Denver-based Rathod/Mohamedbhai law firm representing his family previously said was likely a prescription for treatment of ADHD.

Rathod said Glass was most likely having a mental breakdown when he made the initial 911 call.

Video previously provided by attorneys for the Glass family appears to show an officer ordering Glass to get out of the car.

“Sir, I’m scared,” Glass replies. The officers tell him that he need not be terrified and that they are there to help.

More officers later arrive, and after about 67 minutes, Glass makes what appears to be a heart gesture with his hands toward the officers. A woman’s voice is heard saying, “Same back to you, but come out and talk to us.” Glass appears to be blowing kisses at the officers.

Shortly after, an officer announces that the police will break into Glass’s SUV. The passenger side windshield of the SUV is shattered and officers can be heard ordering Glass to drop the knife. He is shot with bean bags as the officers yell at him to drop the knife.

Glass is then shot with a stun gun and starts screaming hysterically.

Later, knife in hand, Glass appears to turn on an officer shortly before being shot. He appears to stab himself before dropping the knife. Rathod previously said Glass’ knife injuries were superficial.

Deputies had asked Glass to exit the vehicle at least three dozen times during the encounter, the bodycam footage showed. They had also discussed whether Glass could have used drugs, suffered an injury during the collision or experienced mental health problems.

Lawyers for Glass’s family said in a statement Wednesday that while his loved ones have been “exonerated, appropriate charges have been brought against some of those responsible” for their son’s death, “nothing will bring Christian back to his family.”

“Christian’s death is a stain on every officer who was present and failed to prevent escalation and the unnecessary use of force,” they said.

Both Buen and Gould are expected to next appear in court in mid-December, McCollum’s office said.

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