EL PASO COUNTY – A deputy-involved shooting out in eastern El Paso County related to a homicide and an illegal marijuana grow operation back in July is considered a justifiable homicide following a review by the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office based on an investigation by the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Deputy C. Wheat acted in the self defense of himself, other law enforcement personnel and civilians when he shot and killed William Bacorn, 18, as he appeared prepared to fire a shotgun from a concealed position inside a dark barn, according to DA’s office.
Back in July, there was a large law enforcement presence on State Highway 94 between Marksheffel Road and Curtis Road following a tip from a shooting victim about a deceased male on the property. Deputies found Gustavo Del Sol Sanchez, 46, with a fatal gunshot wound, along with an outbuilding being used as part of an illegal grow operation containing more than 70 plants.
The victim’s vehicle found on the property was registered to 19290 Loop Road, the same location where authorities knew there was another suspected grow operation and where they soon got a tip about armed men seen removing property into a black SUV. That location is just southwest of Hanover Road and S Peyton Highway.
Deputy Wheat was among the group responding to the property where they noticed marijuana product inside a trailer, blood on the floor of the trailer, a broken window to the home, and shotgun shells all around the area. No one was found inside the home.
The search then moved next door to 19230 Loop Road as a tip came in about a black SUV heading to that address. The owner of the property, other adults and small children voluntarily stepped out of the home to speak to deputies.
According to the DA’s Office, the property owner said no one else was on the property and agreed to show them around as they cleared the area. The report notes the man had to be reminded to let deputies enter first for safety.
As the group approached the barn, the owner pushed open the door before a deputy pulled him out of the way. That’s when Deputy Wheat went to make entry to the darkened barn, turned to find a man armed with a shotgun pointed at him, then fired more than once at the suspect. William Bacorn died at the scene. A deputy had minor injuries from shrapnel.
Following the shooting, deputies again spoke with the homeowner about whether anyone else was on the property. The report states the owner said Bacorn, a former roommate, had threatened to harm his family if he revealed any information to law enforcement.
As mentioned, Deputy Wheat was ruled to have acted in self-defense.
In mid-November, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrests of two suspects for the murder of Gustavo Del Sol Sanchez. Terrel Hall, 20, and Colin Kellet, 26, are both charged with first degree murder and burglary. It is believed Bacorn accompanied the two suspects during the incident.