“Homeowner Nearly Shot in Longmont Police Shooting: Investigation Finds Shooting Justified”

By | August 4, 2023

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The Boulder County District Attorney has ruled that a Longmont police shooting in June, where a homeowner was nearly shot, was legally justified and not a criminal offense. Officer Nathan Miller was pursuing a suspect who had stolen a car with a gun inside. The homeowner, mistaking the officers for intruders, fired a pellet gun, prompting Officer Miller to shoot back. No injuries were reported, and Miller has been cleared of any wrongdoing. shooting/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Jonson Kuhn reported

The Boulder County District Attorney has concluded that a police shooting incident in Longmont in June, during which a homeowner came close to being shot, was justified under the law and did not constitute a criminal offense.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, on June 15, Officer Nathan Miller of the Longmont police was pursuing a suspect, later identified as Kevin Pitzer, who had allegedly stolen a white Toyota from an auto repair shop. The stolen vehicle contained an unsecured handgun in the center console.

The pursuit eventually led the officers to a residential area after a homeowner in the 2100 block of Stuart Street called 911, reporting that the suspect was hiding in their garage with a firearm.

Upon reaching the residence, the police and SWAT team made repeated announcements of their presence. When they heard screams from inside the house, they believed that the homeowners were in danger and decided to enter.

However, the homeowner mistook the officers for intruders and fired a pellet gun. In response, Officer Miller fired seven shots, believing that the pellet gun was a real firearm. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the shots narrowly missed the homeowner. Pitzer was later found hiding in a neighboring backyard and was subsequently apprehended.

The District Attorney’s Office determined that Officer Miller had reasonable grounds to believe that the homeowner posed an immediate and life-threatening danger by being armed with a firearm. As a result, the office concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support any criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Longmont police Chief Jeff Satur confirmed that Officer Miller has been cleared of any wrongdoing and has been released from administrative leave, allowing him to resume full duty.

Chief Satur expressed gratitude for the thorough investigation conducted by the Boulder County Investigation Team and the District Attorney’s Office in a statement.

District Attorney Michael Dougherty highlighted the potential for a tragic outcome due to poor decisions and miscommunication. However, he emphasized that the legal analysis was clear, as there was no indication or evidence of Officer Miller committing a crime. He commended the independent and comprehensive investigation conducted by the Critical Incident Team, which enabled him to make the correct decision.

A detailed report from the District Attorney’s Office can be accessed at bouldercounty.gov/district-attorney/officer-involved-shooting-decision-letters/.

Dougherty will conduct a virtual town hall meeting via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. to present the investigation process and findings. Community members can submit questions in advance to boulderda@bouldercounty.org, and the town hall can be joined at bit.ly/LPDOISTownHall..