Boulder County Sheriff’s Office


To: Deputy Brandon Bussard Deputy Gary Robinson Personnel Files All Interested Personnel Public Release From: Sheriff Joe Pelle Date: January 21, 2014 Ref: Officer Involved Shooting, case #13-69 10.


On December 29’, 2013, Deputy Brandon Bussard and Deputy Gary Robinson were dispatched to 8309 Street in unincorporated Boulder County regarding a welfare check on a possibly suicidal male. N. They arrived at approximately 9:00 a.m. They spoke to the reporting parties and initiated contact with the male party, Mr. Christopher George. Within a few minutes of contact, Mr. George pulled a handgun from behind his back, "racked" the action, and pointed the gun directly at Deputy Bussard at close range. Deputy Bussard pulled his handgun and shot Mr. George, firing a total of three times. Mr. George fell and dropped the weapon, which was secured by Deputy Robinson. Mr. George was given aid, and was transported to the hospital via medical helicopter. He later died of his wounds. A thorough investigation of the incident was completed by a multi-agency investigative team, the "Boulder County Investigative Team". The investigative findings were presented to the Sheriff and the District Attorney on January 15 t" , 2014. The findings and the case file have been reviewed by both the DA and the Sheriff. The District Attorney has determined the use of deadly force by Deputy Bussard was justified under the law. I have determined that the deputy’s actions were justified and within our policy and training guidelines. In this case the deputies followed proper protocol and policy as follows: 1. Deputy Bussard arrived first, waited for a cover car, and reviewed the CAD call notes while he waited. When Deputy Robinson arrived, they approached the home together, contacted and spoke to the calling family members, and gathered information. They were told Mr. George was depressed, possibly suicidal, did not have any known access to weapons, and had left a possible suicide note in his room.

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2. Deputy Bussard contacted Mr. George in his bedroom and initiated conversation with him to try and ascertain the problem. Mr. George’s sister, who had been in the room with him, stepped out as Deputy Robinson stepped in. She pointed out to Deputy Robinson a possible suicide note in the room as she left. 3. Mr. George remained seated on his bed, half covered by bedding, sitting with his back to the wall. He refused to converse with the deputies and wanted them to leave. 4. Within a few minutes of the contact, Mr. George reached behind his back and produced a handgun. He "racked" the gun by manipulating the slide action and pointed it at Deputy Bussard’ s chest area from a distance of a few feet. Examination of the weapon post-incident revealed that it had in fact been cocked, creating a "stovepipe" jam of one round at the chamber, (rendering the gun temporarily unable to fire). 5. Deputy Bussard yelled "gun", pulled his duty weapon, and at close range fired three rounds at Mr. George. Deputy Bussard’s rounds struck Mr. George in the lower body twice, Deputy Bussard quit firing when Mr. George fell to his side and dropped his weapon. 6. Deputy Robinson also pulled his weapon, stepped to a position to obtain a clear shot, intent on firing, but stopped when he saw Mr. George fall to his side and drop his weapon. He then crawled up partially onto the bed and secured Mr. George’s weapon. 7. The deputies immediately called for medical help and more officers to respond. They rendered aid, and arranged for a medical helicopter to respond. The scene was properly secured, and a full investigative response initiated. 8. In this case the deputies were careful and considerate in their response. They were lawfully on the premises at the request of the family, the homeowner, Mr. George’s mother. They were attempting to gather information to determine if a mental health hold was in order. The subject in this case, Mr. George, appears to have intentionally placed the deputy in a position which required the use of deadly force to defend himself and others from the imminent use of deadly force. This use of force by the deputy was within the law and department policy. Other than waiting for the subject to shoot him, the deputy had no choice and reacted appropriately and according to his training. The sad irony in this matter is that the family had called us for help, and instead the call ended tragically for them. That, of course, is never a desirable outcome. However, given the information the deputies had when they arrived, they responded and reacted appropriately. The end result was wholly within the control of Mr. George, who appears to have acted intentionally to cause this result. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to his family, who have been greatly traumatized by this entire incident.

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