Four Colorado Springs officers who shot and killed an armed man were justified in their use of deadly force, according to a police shooting review.
On March 7, officers Justin Murphy, Alan Radke, Larry Wright and Eric Price shot James Gregory as he pointed a gun at the officers and refused commands to drop the weapon, according to a review letter by the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office. The review’s findings are based on a multi-agency investigation by a Deadly Force Investigation Team.
At the time of the shooting, Gregory was wanted in Mississippi on a warrant for attempted murder. A CSPD Violent Offender Fugitive Task Force and officers were assigned with apprehending Gregory, who was believed to be staying at a Colorado Springs hotel.
Murphy, in uniform, spotted Gregory behind a business at North Circle Drive and East Bijou Street, and the fugitive drew a gun on the officer, according to the review. Murphy fired 14 times at Gregory, who ran north along a business and through parking lots. Murphy hit Gregory with gunfire at least once.
The three other officers joined in the foot chase leading to a parking lot off of Gunnison Street and North Circle Drive where Gregory “slowed down,” according to the review. Officers “verbally ordered” Gregory to drop his weapon, he instead pointed it at officers.
Radke, Wright and Price fired at Gregory, who was pronounced dead on the scene. Radke and Wright both fired six shots, Price fired one shot. Gregory’s loaded 9mm semi-automatic Taurus was recovered at the scene.
“The use of deadly force by Officers Murphy, Radke, Wright, and Price was in response to the ongoing lethal threat that Mr. Gregory posed to the community and to officers themselves while they were attempting to apprehend him on an active attempted murder warrant,” the review said.
“Gregory posed an active, deadly threat to officers at each of the two events where he was fired upon,” the review found. “He also posed an active, deadly threat to civilian bystanders at nearby businesses and in nearby vehicles. Those dangers were particularly acute in light of Mr. Gregory’s repeated refusals to comply with repeated police commands to stop and disarm.”
The DA’s office determined that the use of deadly force “was justified based on all the facts and circumstances of this case under the law of the State of Colorado.”
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