Colorado

Oct 22, 2010 8:18 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Troopers charged in fatal shooting on unpaid leave

REDLANDS, Colo. (AP) - Two Colorado State troopers facing criminal charges for a fatal shooting will be on unpaid leave while their case makes it through court.

Patrol Chief Col. James Wolfinbarger said Thursday law enforcement officers are forced to make "split-second decisions" every day and urged people not to "rush to judgment."

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that a grand jury indicted troopers Ivan "Gene" Lawyer and Kirk Firko in the July shooting. The indictment says the troopers were investigating a traffic accident when they went to the home of Redlands resident Jason Kemp and kicked in his door.

Kemp was unarmed but Lawyer told the grand jury he saw a flash and thought he had been shot so he fired at Kemp.

Lawyer performed CPR on Kemp before he died.

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