Four Colorado Springs police officers were justified in fatally shooting a man who held a woman hostage at a Colorado Springs motel in March, the district attorney’s office ruled Friday.
The shooting happened March 12 at the Travel Star Inn and Suites in the area of South Nevada Avenue and East Ramona Avenue. Around 3:30 p.m., officers went to the motel to arrest 31-year-old Corky Lee Oliver, who was wanted on a warrant for attempted murder in Lakewood.
When officers arrived, they knocked on the door of Lee’s room and demanded that everyone come out. Two men and two women came out, and through the open door, one of the officers saw Oliver grab a woman, yell that he had a gun, and then slam the door shut.
While officers were starting hostage response procedures, Oliver called 911 and demanded a car so he could leave, according to investigators. He also told the 911 operator that he was holding a gun to someone’s head, and that if the officers didn’t back away from the door, he would kill her and himself. The 911 operator heard a woman whimpering and crying in the background.
Officers then began negotiating with Oliver over the phone. He demanded cigarettes, a car, and an opportunity to speak with his mom, which officers arranged. During the phone call with his mom, Oliver said he would not go back to prison, and that he would kill the hostage if police didn’t do as he said.
During the negotiations, officers heard the woman crying in the background, saying that he was pointing a gun at her and that he had hurt her and would hurt her more.
When officers heard the woman screaming and crying for help, they broke into the room using an explosive. Five officers went inside and saw Oliver lying on the bed, holding the woman on top of him with his right hand, while his left hand was out of sight. Officers ordered him to release the woman and put his hands up, but he refused.
When he moved his arm as if to reach for something, four of the officers fired at him, hitting him seven times. They then removed the hostage and treated her for an unintentional gunshot wound to her arm. She has since recovered from the injury.
Oliver died on the scene. When his body was removed, investigators found a cocked and loaded sawed-off shotgun near him and a cocked and loaded handgun on the other bed.
The DA’s office ruled all four officers acted reasonably in shooting Oliver. No charges will be filed.