Pueblo

Pueblo to pay $600K to family of man killed by police in 2017

WATCH Dramatic footage of fatal officer involved shooting in Pueblo

PUEBLO, Colo. - The city of Pueblo has agreed to a $600,000 settlement to the family of a man killed by police last year.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports attorneys announced the settlement Thursday to the family of 33-year-old Andrew Byrd, who was shot and killed by Pueblo officers in February 2017.

Authorities say Byrd backed into a patrol car and then accelerated toward officers, resulting in the officers opening fire. Prosecutors determined the shooting was justified.

In a statement from the family's attorneys, they say Pueblo Police Chief Troy Davenport and city officials have met with family, "always listening to and respecting the family's concerns."

The family says they are encouraged by officials' willingness to "move forward with a renewed commitment to safety and preservation of human life."

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The Pueblo Police Department released footage of February's fatal officer-involved shooting on Wednesday, and the District Attorney ruled the officer's actions justified.

Andrew Byrd, 35, was fatally shot while trying to drive away from officers on February 5, 2017. 

Footage from four different cameras was used in the investigation. Some of the footage came from body cameras, which were worn by Officer Todd Whittemore and Officer Neal Robinson. The rest was from the officers' dash camera. 

According to the Pueblo Police Department, a woman off Acero Avenue called Dispatch and said Byrd and another man were driving in her area in a Toyota Camry and possibly had weapons in their laps. Officer Whittemore and Officer Robinson immediately responded. 

The woman also had previously reported that Byrd had stolen a vehicle from her. 

When Whittemore arrived at the Camry, it was parked behind a cement truck and appeared to be empty. After a short time, Whittemore saw brake lights on the Camry light up, so he pulled up behind it. 

Then, Officer Neal Robinson appeared on the scene from the opposite direction, blocking some of the roadway and making it difficult for Byrd to escape.

Byrd tried to back the Camry out of the parking spot almost hitting Whittemore's patrol car. He then attempted to drive in between Robinson's vehicle and the cement truck. Instead, Byrd drove the Camry right into the trailer of the truck. 

At this point, both officers were outside their patrol vehicles, pointing their weapons at Byrd and demanding that he turn the car off. Byrd did not listen and proceeded to back into Whittemore's patrol vehicle a second time. As he started to pull forward, Robinson fired his weapon into the driver's side window of the Camry, killing Byrd.

Another shot was fired from another officer that was on the scene, but it did not hit Byrd.

On August 14, the Pueblo County District Attorney ruled that the shooting was justified. 


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