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4th Judicial DA finds law enforcement justified in deadly shooting in July

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Posted at 1:11 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 15:17:55-05

EL PASO COUNTY — The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has completed a review and has decided not to file charges in a July 11, 2020, deadly shooting involving a Colorado State Trooper and an El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy. That's according to a press release sent out on Monday by District Attorney’s Office Information Officer Lee Richards.

Shortly after 5 p.m. on July 11, Colorado State Patrol received a report from dispatch concerning a red jeep traveling southbound on I-25 in Douglas County. State Patrol also received a BOLO from dispatch that a red jeep had been involved in a menacing call for service.

About 16 minutes later, Colorado State Patrol Troopers saw a red Jeep Patriot matching the description of the suspect vehicle. Troopers Michael Carlton, Vic Sargenti, and Lance Curry began following the jeep in separate vehicles. It was later learned that the jeep was stolen.

While traveling southbound on I-25 in Douglas County near Exit 166, authorities say the suspect, who has been identified as 23-year-old Antonio Mancinone, began to swerve and drive recklessly in an attempt to elude the troopers. He then exited at County Line Road and ran the stop sign. Shortly after running the stop sign, the jeep crashed on the bridge/highway overpass. Upon crashing, Mancinone, got out of the vehicle with a black handgun in his right hand.

Trooper Lance Curry, who was in full uniform and driving a marked Colorado State Patrol vehicle, was the closest to the crash scene when Mancinone got out of the vehicle. Authorities said that's when Mancinone pointed his handgun at Trooper Curry. Trooper Curry ducked into his patrol vehicle and Mancinone proceeded to run east on County Line Road toward the northbound exit ramp. According to authorities, all law enforcement involved in this incident were wearing duty-issued uniforms and driving marked law enforcement vehicles.

At the end of the northbound exit ramp, authorities said Mancinone ran to a black SUV driven by a citizen whose SUV was stopped at the stop sign. Mancinone tried to open the driver side door but the doors were locked. According to authorities, Mancinone struck his firearm against the victim’s driver side window then ran toward the car directly behind the SUV.

At that point, Trooper Curry, who was following Mancinone in his vehicle, was behind Mancinone when Mancinone pointed his firearm at Trooper Curry a second time. In an effort to stop him, Trooper Curry hit Mancinone with his vehicle, who fell down and rolled, then quickly got up and continued to flee with the firearm in his right hand.

Troopers, who were now on foot, began chasing Mancinone through a field. Authorities say Mancinone pointed his gun at Trooper Vic Sargenti. Troopers continued to chase Mancinone while repeatedly ordering him to stop and drop his gun. Mancinone did not comply and was seen putting the gun to his head and mouth, authorities said.

Mancinone began approaching the backyard of a home on Doewood Dr. in Monument where approximately ten people were located. Some members of the group were in the backyard, including small children. When residents saw, Mancinone and the troopers approaching the house, they fled inside and into an upstairs bedroom for safety. Authorities said Mancinone jumped the fence, ran to the back of the home, and tried to enter the basement. Troopers continued to give commands for him to drop his gun, which, according to authorities, he ignored and was again seen putting the gun to his head and mouth.

Meanwhile, Trooper Curry went to the front of the home, quickly started evacuating the people inside, and entered the home. Mancinone climbed the stairs of the back deck and tried to enter the residence through the locked back door and then began banging on the windows. Troopers continued to give him commands, which were ignored. Authorities said that's when Mancinone then fired a shot through a dining room window, broke the glass, and entered the home.

Authorities said in order to protect lives and stop Mancinone, who had now just entered a private residence with a firearm after firing into it, El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Spencer Stringham fired one shot from his rifle from his position outside the yard behind the fence. Trooper Lance Curry, who was inside the home, fired seven rounds from his pistol from his position in the kitchen and living room area.

At the time they fired, authorities said Trooper Curry and Deputy Stringham indicated they felt there was a significant safety threat to law enforcement, any potential residents who may still have been in the home, and neighbors in that community if Mancinone were to continue into the house with his firearm.

After firing their weapons, law enforcement from Colorado State Patrol and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office quickly entered the home, approached Mancinone, who was lying on the floor and kicked the firearm away from him. Authorities said they then began to immediately render medical aid to Mancinone, but he was pronounced dead on the scene.

Following the shooting, law enforcement was able to sweep the home to make sure no one else was inside. A shell casing from the defendant’s firearm was recovered inside the home. Shell casings associated with Trooper Curry’s pistol were found inside the home. One shell casing associated with Deputy Stringham’s rifle was found in the field outside the fence behind the residence.

According to the coroner’s autopsy report, Mancinone sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Toxicology results indicated the presence of the following substances: amphetamine, methamphetamine, Tricyclic Antidepressants, amitriptyline.

According to Colorado Revised Statutes §18-1-707(2):

A peace officer is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person for a purpose specified in subsection (1) of this section only when he reasonably believes that it is necessary:
(a) To defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or

(b) To effect an arrest, or to prevent the escape from custody, of a person whom he reasonably believes:

(I) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon; or

(II) Is attempting to escape by the use of a deadly weapon; or

(III) Otherwise indicates, except through a motor vehicle violation, that he is likely to endanger human life or to inflict serious bodily injury to another unless apprehended without delay.

In addition, Colorado Revised Statutes 18-1-704 provides all citizens including the aforementioned with the right to defend others with deadly force if they reasonably believe another is in imminent danger of being killed or receiving great bodily injury and reasonably believe a lesser degree of force is inadequate. Further, under 18-1-704;
(2) Deadly physical force may be used only if a person reasonably believes a lesser degree of force is inadequate and:
(b) The other person is using or reasonably appears about to use physical force against an occupant of a dwelling or business establishment while committing or attempting to commit burglary as defined in sections 18-4-202 to 18-4-204; or
(c) The other person is committing or reasonably appears about to commit kidnapping as defined in section 18-3-301 or 18-3-302, robbery as defined in section 18-4-301 or 18-4-302, sexual assault as set forth in section 18-3-402, or in section 18-3-403 as it existed prior to July 1, 2000, or assault as defined in sections 18-3-202 and 18-3-203.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said they found Mancinone had threatened multiple lives with a vehicle and a firearm, committed multiple felonies, was becoming increasingly dangerous, and repeatedly refused commands to stop and drop his gun. This was prior to Mr. Mancinone ultimately entering an occupied private residence with a firearm.

They said Mancinone repeatedly refused to cooperate or follow law enforcement commands. Prior to forcibly entering the occupied private residence with a firearm and being shot, Mancinone placed troopers and citizens at risk of a crash on I-25, threatened troopers and private citizens with a firearm, attempted to carjack a woman in a black SUV, and had begun moving toward a second vehicle before being hit by the trooper’s vehicle and fleeing through a field.

Deputy Stringham reported that when Mancinone fired into and then used force to enter the home, before the deputy’s gunshot, the deputy believed Mancinon was an imminent threat. Trooper Curry noted at the time he fired he was in fear for his life and for anyone who may still be inside the home.

As a result, The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will not file charges against Trooper Lance Curry or Deputy Spencer Stringham.

Back in July, News5 spoke with Mancinone's brother, Lucian, who said he’s not defending what his brother did, but instead, he wants people to learn from his brother’s death and stop something like this from happening again.