According to The Colorado Sun, a Denver shooter used a police officer’s gun to murder a woman in January 2021. The incident began when the woman and her boyfriend were walking their dog. The suspect fired shots at the woman and her boyfriend while the dog defecated near the suspect’s property. The woman was killed while her boyfriend suffered injuries.
According to court documents, the suspect used a Denver Police officer’s assault rifle during the shooting. The suspect was a friend of the officer who took the officer’s gun without his knowledge. An investigation discovered that the rifle did belong to the officer and that the department doesn’t use assault rifles while on duty. Despite the officer’s negligence for his weapon, the department’s policies and regulations only cover the weapons used while on duty.
The suspect has no prior criminal background and is currently facing 22 charges including first degree-murder and possessing a large-capacity gun magazine. The suspect has not been charged for stealing the weapon. His bond has been denied and he remains in custody.
Who is at Fault?
According to Colorado Law, a Wrongful Death claim may be filed within two years of the incident. The eligibility standards change depending on the time of filing. Some common examples are those who may file a wrongful death claim include:
- Designated Beneficiary
In this case, the family of the deceased has filed wrongful death suits against the shooter and the negligent officer. The lawsuit states that the retired officer practiced negligence when he failed to store the rifle in a secure place in his home. This action allowed the suspect to find it in the officer’s car. There are multiple factors at work here, one of them is the actual murder and injury from the suspect, the other is the officer being negligent of their weapon. The gray area comes down to the police officer being off duty and how far will that go to contribute to the actual murder.
This case meets both the negligence and criminal acts criteria.
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Our experienced attorneys are skilled in wrongful death cases are we always strive for the largest settlement possible. While filing a wrongful lawsuit against a negligent party can’t undo the string of events that caused a person’s death, it can help a family gain some sort of closure and potentially recover damages.
Colorado residents should immediately contact our office to receive a free case evaluation. Reach Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC at 720-923-2333.
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