Adams County District Attorney Brian Mason said he won’t file charges in connection with an officer-involved shooting in Adams County last summer.
The incident began in Lafayette on Aug. 7, when officers located a woman who was on foot. She told police she’d been the victim of domestic violence by a man, later identified as Bruce Thurby.
“Mr. Thurby forced himself into her apartment in the city of Aurora. He was armed with a handgun and made her get into his vehicle,” Mason’s letter to Adams County Sheriff Rick Reigenborn said. “She reported Mr. Thurby took her phone and drove her around the Denver metropolitan area for three days.”
The woman was able to escape while Thurby was inside a gas station. Thurby pointed a gun at her and tried to keep her from leaving, the letter said.
On Aug. 11, investigators followed Thurby throughout the Denver area. The suspect was “occasionally driving erratically as if he knew he was being followed.”
At one point, Thurby got out of his car at a used-car lot and “entered into vehicles and acted as if he were attempting to steal one from the lot.”
Officers tried to arrest Thurby, but he ran while holding a semi-automatic handgun. Adams County sheriff’s deputy Scott Kierstead and others followed Thurby into an open garage-door bay.
“Mr. Thurby turned back toward Deputy Kierstead, displaying the gun in his hand,” the letter said. “Deputy Kierstead fired his handgun at Mr. Thurby, causing him to fall to the floor.”
Kierstead told the suspect not to move, but Thurby reached for his handgun instead. Kierstead fired two more shots, killing Thurby.
The shooting, which happened near West 70th Avenue and Pecos Street, ended a five-hour surveillance.
“I find Deputy Kierstead’s decision to fire his weapon at Mr. Thurby to be justified,” Mason told Reigenborn. “The prosecution cannot prove that the involved officer was not justified in using reasonable force.
Westminster and Aurora police detectives handled the investigation, together with law enforcement agencies not connected with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.
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