Fountain cop cleared
Police officer shooting justified
A decision has been made in an officer related shooting involving a Fort Carson soldier.
Here is a news release from the D.A.'s office detailing the investigation:
"The Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office has completed an investigation into the officer-involved shooting that occurred in Fountain, CO on August 12, 2012. Following careful review of the facts and evidence surrounding the incident, it has been determined that the officer's use of deadly force against the suspect was reasonable and justified.
On August 12, 2012, at 12:42 a.m., an emergency call was made to the Fountain Police Department indicating a gun had been fired inside a home located at 882 Daffodil Street.
Officers with the Fountain Police Department immediately responded. They learned that Stephen Payne had been drinking heavily that day, had a gun and was holding his wife and their two young sons (ages 4 and 6) hostage in their home. Payne had fired 1 shot but no one was injured. His teenaged daughter fled the home and was communicating by text with her mother. One read, "He won't let me leave with the boys." Police set up surveillance. They could hear yelling and crying in the home and saw Stephan Payne holding a handgun. Just as officers were moving into containment positions, the victims (mother and 2 boys) left the house. She was yelling at the boys to run up the street. Mr. Payne came out of the home and began to follow them. Two officers approached him from behind and yelled "Police, Police, get on the ground." Mr. Payne turned towards them and began drawing his gun (9 mm Glock) on the officers, at which time Sgt. Tim Johnson fired twice, wounding Mr. Payne. Payne then aimed his gun at the officers and Sgt. Johnson fired two more times, further wounding Mr. Payne causing him to drop his gun and fall.
Colorado Revised Statutes 18-1-707 provides that an officer is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be imminent use of deadly physical force, or to effect an arrest of a person he reasonably believes has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicated that he is likely to endanger human life or to inflict serious bodily injury to another unless apprehended without delay. In addition, Colorado Revised Statutes 18-1-704 provides all citizens with the right to defend themselves with deadly force if they reasonably believe they are in imminent danger of being killed or receiving great bodily injury and reasonably believe a lesser degree of force is inadequate.
The District Attorney's Office reviews all incidents involving a discharged weapon by an officer. The facts and evidence from this particular investigation demonstrate that Sgt. Tim Johnson acted reasonably and was justified in defending himself and others from the imminent use of deadly physical force by Stephen Payne. Because the officer's actions were justified under Colorado law, no criminal charges will be pursued."
Stephen Payne is recovering from his wounds and now free on bond.
I chatted with a neighbor of Payne about Thursday's ruling about the shooting. Patricia Everett lives very close to where Payne was shot. She told me, "Bullets have no eyes, so I'm glad our Fountain Police have done their job."
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