Christian Glass: 2 Colorado deputies have been fired and charged for fatally shooting a 22-year-old armed with a knife who called 911 for help



CNN

Two Colorado deputies have been charged and fired after investigating the deadly June police shooting of Christian Glass, a 22-year-old man armed with a knife who had called 911 for roadside assistance, officials and family lawyers say.

A grand jury filed an indictment on Wednesday against Clear Creek County Sheriff’s deputies Andrew Buen, 29, and Kyle Gould, 36, according to Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum’s office.

Buen is charged with second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment, while Gould is charged with negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, according to online court records.

The charges stem from the murder of Glass, who was shot in the early morning of June 11 — more than an hour after police first arrived — and pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office said. The autopsy report found Glass’s injuries to be fatal, including five gunshot wounds to the torso and one to his right arm.

The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office received a “motorist assist” call on June 10 at 11:21 p.m. for what appeared to be a car accident, the office said, but said the driver, Glass, “immediately got into an argument and didn’t cooperated with the deputies and had armed himself with a knife.”

Glass’s family has disputed this characterization, saying in September that their son carried no guns and that the knives were stone tools used for rock carving as an art form.

Bond was set at $50,000 for Buen and set at $2,500 for Gould. No attorney has been listed for either, and according to online records, both men are in custody at the Gilpin County Jail.

CNN is working to obtain copies of the charges.

Following the indictment, both deputies were fired, according to a statement from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.

The statement called the charges “part of a painful but necessary process” and “policy and procedural errors” were found in an ongoing internal investigation parallel to the criminal investigation.

“While the investigation is still ongoing, preliminary findings show that there were policy and procedural errors, and the initial press release about the shooting, based on the information available at the time of the incident, does not reflect the entirety of what happened on that terrible night,” the statement said.

A statement from Glass’s family lawyers said “Nothing will return Christian to his family,” but noted they were relieved by the allegations.

“Justice for Christian, however, requires that everyone involved be held accountable. Christian’s death is a blot on every officer who was present and failed to prevent the escalation and unnecessary use of force,” the statement said.

In 911 call audio released by Glass’s family in September, he tells the dispatcher, “I’ve got a gun on me.” I will throw them out the window as soon as an officer comes here” and further describes that he has two knives, a hammer and a rubber mallet.

Body camera video of the incident released by the family shows Glass offering to throw the guns out of the car and a responding officer telling him not to.

“He even offered to throw his stone knives and tools out the window so they wouldn’t worry. But they told him no and he obeyed,” Glass’s mother, Sally Glass, said at a press conference in September.

In the body camera video, responding deputies can be heard asking Glass to leave the vehicle several times.

A responding officer asks Glass if he’s been on any drugs, to which Glass replies, “I’ve been smoking, I’ve been… been…” before being distracted by an officer who, according to the family’s lawyers, has put adhesive strips behind his car posted, show the video.

The autopsy report released by attorneys for the Glass family stated that Glass had both THC and amphetamine in his system.

Deputies were able to break out the car’s windows and remove one of the knives, but Glass re-armed himself with a rock and a second knife, according to the sheriff’s office. In the video, deputies can be heard repeatedly asking Glass to drop the knife.

Deputies used beanbags and a taser “with negative results” before Glass “finally tried to stab an officer,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Body camera video shows law enforcement officers then shot Glass with a stun gun before he could be seen turning and then seemingly thrusting a knife at an officer before police fired several gunshots. The video then shows Glass apparently stabbing himself.

The body camera video released by the family’s lawyers was edited to blur Glass’s body.

“The only thing we removed from the videos is after Christian got out of the car. We blur the screen where his body is on the floor and medical treatment is given to his body. We didn’t think it was appropriate to have Christian’s naked body in the world,” lawyer Siddhartha Rathod said.

CNN has requested an unedited copy of the body camera footage from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.

In a statement in September, Glass’s family and lawyers said he had a mental illness.

‘There was no need to threaten him with violence; draw weapons; breaking his car window; to fire bean bags at close range; taser him; to shoot him. From start to finish, the officers on the scene acted unscrupulously and inhumanely,” said Glass’s parents and lawyers.

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