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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Announces It Will Not Pursue Criminal Charges Related to Officer-Involved Shooting on Southern Ute Indian Reservation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado has concluded that it will not pursue federal criminal charges against Southern Ute Police Department officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 33-year-old resident of Allison, Colorado, on September 12, 2021.   The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the decision today after reviewing all of the available evidence and notifying the family of the individual involved. 

“We reviewed the evidence in this matter in close detail,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan.  “After a detailed and thorough analysis, the actions by law enforcement do not support bringing any criminal charge.  Our office takes the loss of life seriously, and we appreciate the sensitive nature of this matter.  The sensitivity of this matter also limits what information we can disclose publicly.”

The FBI performed the investigation, and the results were reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  In summary, the evidence demonstrates that on September 12, 2021, an individual in a pickup truck fled from a traffic stop and a high-speed chase ensued on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.  After eluding law enforcement officers, the individual stopped the pickup truck on County Road 328 on a hill near the border of Colorado and New Mexico, within the exterior boundaries of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.  Southern Ute Police Department officers arrived in a marked patrol car behind the truck and got out of their vehicle.  At that point, the individual reversed the truck and drove in the direction of the patrol car and the officers, placing them in fear of serious bodily injury or death.  The officers fired their weapons, and the individual was killed. 

Based on the location of the incident and the identity of the parties, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has sole jurisdiction over any criminal charges arising from this incident.  The name of the decedent is being withheld at the request of the decedent’s family.

Updated April 26, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice