Prosecutors: Officer justified in shooting, killing shoplifting suspect

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Steven James Young_302174

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado Springs police officer was justified in shooting and killing a shoplifting suspect who brandished a pellet gun during a chase in August, according to prosecutors.

The shooting happened August 15 near the intersection of East Bijou Street and North Circle Drive. Prosecutors said police went to the Walmart on East Platte Avenue around 11:30 p.m. that night to investigate a shoplifting. When they tried to arrest the suspect, 45-year-old Steven Young, he ran into a nearby neighborhood, according to prosecutors.

Officers chased Young, briefly lost sight of him, and found him again in the bushes near a home on East Bijou Street. Prosecutors said Young jumped out of the bushes holding a firearm, later determined to be a CO2 pellet gun. One officer, Anthony Voltz, told him to get on the ground, but he refused and ran toward other officers, according to prosecutors. Young then began to turn back toward Voltz, causing him to fear he was about to be shot, according to prosecutors. Voltz shot and killed the suspect.

Prosecutors said investigators found text messages from Young in which he said he “would not be taken alive.”

Prosecutors said all of the officers involved were wearing body cameras, but due to the darkness of the night and rapid movement of the officers, every image was not clearly captured.

Prosecutors determined that Voltz was justified in shooting Young, and no charges will be filed in the incident.

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