Evidence released: Colorado Springs officer-involved shooting ruled justified

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COLORADO SPRINGS — An officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of a Colorado Springs man on April 19, 2020, has been ruled justified by the 4th Judicial District.

According to court records, the incident happened at about 9:30 p.m. on the night of April 19, when CSPD officers responded to a domestic violence call on Oak Creek Drive East.

The woman who called said her husband, Virgill Thorpe, had assaulted her, was armed with an assault rifle, and had threatened to shoot officers if they came to the door.

>> TAP HERE TO HEAR THE 911 PHONE CALL
(Note: explicit language, some viewers may find this content disturbing)

At first, the caller told the 911 operator she’d called by mistake, but the 911 operator said, because she had heard a disturbance in the background, was obligated to send officers to her home.

“He pushed me and I fell and hit my head,” the woman said on the call. “Hard,” she continued, “on the floor, on the concrete.”

She noted the two had been drinking.

“He came downstair with an AR,” she said, which is when her children got involved.

Records show that when officers arrived, Thorpe and another man met them at the door. Thorpe is reported as appearing agitated and having said, “let’s go to war.”

Thorpe went back inside the home and officers say they made contact with his wife and stepdaughters, who were hiding in the basement. Officers say, while they were trying to pull his stepdaughter out of the basement window, Thorpe approached the window with an AR-15 and pointed it at officers.

The 4th Judicial District released a still photo from the video recorded by the body worn camera of one of the officers.

A still from video captured by a CSPD officer’s body worn camera shows a suspect’s AR-15 from an officer-involved shooting on April 19, 2020.

>>TAP HERE TO SEE BODY WARN CAMERA VIDEO FROM THIS INCIDENT (Note: some viewers may find these videos disturbing)

At that point, officers said, because they feared for their safety, they opened fire, hitting Thorpe, who collapsed in the basement.

Court documents say officers then forced their way into the house and provided medical aid to the injured man until paramedics arrived. Thorpe was taken to the hospital where he died.

No charges will be filed against Corporal Joseph Somosky or Officers Eddie Nassar, Kristopher Czajkowsi, or Charles Warren.

Per the 4th Judicial District: Colorado Revised Statute 18-1-707 provides that an officer is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that it is necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the imminent use of deadly physical force.

Additionally, Colorado Revised Statute 18-1-704 provides that a person is justified in using deadly force when the person reasonably believes that he or another person is in imminent danger of being killed or suffering serious bodily injury.

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