Report: Clear Creek deputies justified in fatal officer-involved shooting near Idaho Springs

A Grand Jury report, in lieu of an indictment, about a fatal officer-involved shooting near Idaho Springs was released Friday.

The nine-page report, signed August 6 by Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown, concludes that the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s deputies involved in the May 9 shooting of Darrin Patterson, 57, of Idaho Springs, were “justified in using the force which was used” when two deputies encountered Patterson, who was armed with a handgun.

Patterson, according to the report, while inside his stopped vehicle pointed a gun at Deputy Kyle Gould. “Believing that Patterson was going to shoot Gould,” Deputy Nicholas Dibiase fired 18 shots. Gould, “believing his life was in danger,” fired 12 shots. Patterson did not fire the silver and gray semi-automatic .45 caliber pistol that was fully loaded and had a round in the chamber. He died at the scene.

“Grand jurors carefully reviewed evidenced in determining that no officer should be charged but recommended that change was needed to prevent this type of incident,” Brown said in a news release about the report.

Patterson, who had methamphetamine in his blood system a the time of his death, suffered with psychiatric issues, according to the report.

Patterson was known to Idaho Springs police, who had multiple prior contacts with him, and the report made “recommendations” including that law enforcement do more to “facilitate” mental health assistance and resources for people they encounter who are “experiencing profound mental illness.”

In the news release Brown said: “An absence of resources contributed to this tragedy,
and the question is whether officials can work together, step up and fill a glaring need to provide
treatment to people who are suffering.”

The officer-involved shooting was investigated by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

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