By Jeremy Harlan and Chris Boyette, CNN
Updated: Thu, 24 Nov 2022 07:50:40 GMT
Two Colorado deputies have been indicted and fired following investigations into the June fatal police shooting of Christian Glass, a 22-year-old man who was armed with a knife and had called 911 for roadside assistance, officials and family attorneys say.
A grand jury Wednesday delivered an indictment 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 2nd degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment, while Gould is charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, according to online court records.
The charges stem from the killing of Glass, who was shot in the early morning of June 11 -- more than an hour after police first arrived -- and pronounced dead on scene, according to the sheriff's office. The autopsy report showed Glass' injuries were fatal and included 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 vehicle accident, the office said, but said its driver, Glass, "immediately became argumentative and uncooperative with the Deputies and had armed himself with a knife."
The family of Glass have disputed this characterization, saying in September that their son didn't carry weapons and the knives were rock tools used for carving rocks as a form of art.
Bond for Buen was set at $50,000 and for Gould set at $2,500. No attorney is listed for either, and both men are listed as in custody at the Gilpin County Detention Facility, according to online records.
CNN is working to obtain copies of the indictments.
Following the indictment, both deputies were fired, according to a statement from the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office.
The statement called the indictment "part of a painful but necessary process," and "policy and procedural failures" were found in an ongoing internal investigation parallel to the criminal investigation.
"While the investigation is still underway, preliminary findings show there were policy and procedural failures, and the initial news 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' family attorneys said, "Nothing will bring Christian back to his family," but noted they were relieved by the charges.
"However, justice for Christian will require all those involved being held accountable. Christian's death is a stain on every officer who was present and failed to prevent the escalation and unnecessary uses of force," the statement said.
Encounter seen on body camera video
In 911 call audio released by Glass' family in September, he tells the dispatcher, "I have a weapon on me. I will throw them out the window as soon as an officer gets here" and continues to describe having two knives, a hammer and a rubber mallet.
Body camera video of the incident released by the family shows Glass offering to throw the weapons out of the car and a responding officer telling him not to do so.
"He actually offered to throw his rock knives and his tools out of the window so they wouldn't be worried. But they told him no and he obeyed," Glass' mother, Sally Glass, said at a news conference in September.
In the body camera video, responding deputies can be heard asking Glass to exit the vehicle several times.
One responding officer asks Glass if he had taken any drugs, to which Glass responds "I smoked, I've been ..." before becoming distracted by an officer placing what attorneys for the family said were tack strips behind his car, the video shows.
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 deployed bean bags and a taser "with negative results" before Glass "eventually tried to stab an officer," according to the sheriff's office.
Body camera video shows law enforcement then shot Glass with a stun gun before he can be seen twisting and then seemingly thrusting a knife toward an officer before police fired multiple gun shots. The video then shows Glass apparently stabbing himself.
The body camera video released by the attorneys for the family has been edited to blur Glass' body.
"The only thing we have edited from the videos is after Christian is removed from the car. We blur the screen where his body is on the ground and medical treatment is being provided to his body. We felt it wasn't appropriate to have Christian's naked body out there in the world," attorney 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' family and attorneys said he was having a mental health episode.
"There was no need to threaten him with force; to draw guns; to break his car window; to fire beanbag rounds from a close distance; to tase him; to shoot him dead. From beginning to end, the officers on scene acted unconscionably and inhumanely," Glass' parents and attorneys said.