Officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man who appeared to be having a mental health episode in his car in Silver Plume were never in imminent danger, according to recently unsealed grand jury indictments.
Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputies Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould were fired last week after a grand jury indicted them for their involvement in the fatal shooting of Christian Glass. Glass was killed inside his car after he became stranded in the small mountain town and called 911 for roadside help late at night June 10.
The indictments also reveal the decision by Gould, Clerk Creek County sheriff’s sergeant and the shift supervisor at the time of the encounter, to remove Glass from the vehicle directly led to the 22-year-old’s death. The decision to remove Glass came despite the fact that no one on scene “had made a determination that there was probable cause or reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed or was being committed,” according to the indictment.
Buen, a Clear Creek sheriff’s deputy and one of the first officers to arrive on the scene, “fluctuated between conversational in tone to being verbally aggressive” toward Glass, according to the indictment. After breaking a window, Buen shot Glass with six bean bag rounds, tasered him and then shot him five times with his gun all within 90 seconds. Glass’ death was a homicide as a result of being shot, according to the coroner’s report.
At some point during the encounter, Buen muted his body camera to call Gould, who was using a “remote viewing feature through the deputies’ body cams” to monitor the call. After the conversation, Buen told Georgetown Police Chief Randall Williams that the decision had been made to remove Glass from the vehicle, even though Glass posed no imminent danger, according to the indictments.
“There is no reason to believe that Mr. Glass would have been a danger to any law enforcement personnel, to himself, or to any member of the public, and the decision to remove him from the vehicle directly led to the death of Mr. Glass,” the indictments say.
Buen was indicted on charges of second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment. Gould was indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. Bond was set at $50,000 for Buen and $2,500 for Gould.
Both posted bond Thursday and were released from jail, a spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Department said. Their next court date is scheduled for Dec. 12.
According to the indictment, Glass made statements during a phone call to Clear Creek 911 dispatch indicating he was experiencing a mental health crisis.
When they arrived at the scene, officers tried to coax Glass out of his vehicle, which was lodged between boulders after attempting a U-turn. The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release after the shooting Glass became “argumentative and uncooperative” and tried to stab an officer. Video from the encounter, though, shows that Glass, who made a heart with his hands toward the officers and said he was terrified, never got out of his car.