Warning: This article contains a link to CSPD Significant Event Briefing Video, which contains graphic descriptions and footage that may be disturbing to some individuals. Viewer discretion is advised.
(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) has released its first Significant Event Briefing Video, providing a summary and video of the Officer-Involved Shooting that took place on Monday, Feb. 6 at an apartment complex in Colorado Springs.
The release of the so-called ‘Significant Event Briefing Video,’ is part of a new policy from CSPD to increase transparency with the community that took effect on Feb. 1, 2023.
On Feb. 6 at around 1:23 a.m., CSPD received three separate 911 calls in the 3900 block of East Bijou Street at The Grove Apartments, near East Platte Avenue. CSPD said the first and second callers reported hearing shots in the area and the third caller, a woman, reported that a man with a large firearm was knocking at her window and telling her to come outside.
Officers arrived at the scene by 1:35 a.m. and received information about the suspect, identified as 44-year-old Evan Wollert of Colorado Springs. They discovered from prior calls for service that Wollert lived in the complex.
About 10 minutes later, at 1:47 a.m., officers heard Wollert yelling loudly and apparently challenging them to knock on his door.
Wollert then left his apartment and began yelling at officers. Officers identified themselves as police officers and commanded him to put his hands up, and said if he didn’t, they could not guarantee his safety. Wollert did not comply with commands, according to CSPD, and threatened to kill the officers.
At 1:52 a.m., Wollert began walking toward the officers with a shotgun in his hand. Officers demanded Wollert drop the gun multiple times, including telling the suspect he would be shot if he did not follow commands to drop the weapon.
Wollert did not drop his firearm and continued walking toward the officers and raised the shotgun toward them, according to CSPD. Two officers then fired their handguns and a third officer fired his rifle at the armed suspect. Wollert was hit by the gunfire and immediately fell to the ground, while still in possession of the shotgun.
Cell phone video by a community member was also released as part of the Significant Event Briefing Video, which apparently showed Wollert advancing at officers while pointing the shotgun toward them.
Officers recovered a loaded shotgun from Wollert, immediately radioed for an ambulance, and began providing emergency medical treatment to him.
Wollert was later pronounced dead on the scene by medical personnel. No officers or community members were injured.
CSPD released Body Worn Camera footage and community member video of the incident, which can be found here. The video contains graphic descriptions and footage that may be disturbing to some individuals. Viewer discretion is advised.
A photograph of Wollert’s shotgun was taken at the scene of the shooting and recovered by officers. CSPD also released the names of the officers involved in the incident; Sgt. Aaron Lloyd, Officer Stewart Smyth, and Officer Steven Nelson. All are assigned to the Sand Creek Division and are on routine, administrative leave.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) responded to the shooting and began the investigation. Once completed, the investigation will be sent to the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for final review.
A ‘Significant Event Briefing Video’ will be developed by the Professional Standards Division and will be provided to the public within 21 days of a significant event unless there are authorized exceptions approved by the Chief of Police or their designee.
The process was designed after eight months of research, meeting with professional partners, and reviewing what other agencies are doing both in Colorado and around the nation according to CSPD.
“We are at a critical juncture in policing, where agencies should be taking steps to show what happened in significant events that occur between police and community members. It is vitally important that we inform the public about the facts of an event by being transparent in the release of evidentiary video whenever legally possible,” said CSPD Police Chief Adrian Vasquez.