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Colorado Springs officer-involved shooting during April standoff ruled justified

Posted at 2:15 PM, Jul 03, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS — The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has ruled two Colorado Springs police officers will not face any charges in connection to the fatal shooting of a suspect last April. Colorado law calls for an outside agency to conduct the investigation into officer-involved shootings.

On April 24, officers were called out to a domestic disturbance at the Arbor Pointe Apartment Homes on Hancock Expressway as a woman said she was slapped, choked and threatened with a butcher knife.

After speaking with 57-year-old Dina Franklin, the four officers ran a background check on the suspect, Jonathan Patzel, and found he had an outstanding warrant related to a Department of Corrections sentence for an escape charge.

According to investigators, Officers Colton Graham, Thomas Walling, Ryan Levichi and Sergeant Patricia Turechek were in marked police cars and in uniform.

Officers tried to contact Patzel, but were unsuccessful, so they set up a perimeter around the unit at the apartment complex. While officers were interviewing the victim, police noticed a person stick their head out the door and then close it. Officers tried again to contact the person in the apartment, but were unsuccessful.

Authorities say officers heard the sound of a lighter being flicked from inside the unit and could smell something burning. Officer Walling tried to shine his flashlight under the door when they saw smoke coming from the unit. Multiple efforts to get Patzel to unlock the door or speak with officers were unsuccessful, so officers tried to break the unit door down.

After multiple strikes, the door broke open. According to officers, Patzel yelled at the officers and charged at them with his hands above his head. Officers Graham and Walling shot at the suspect hitting him. Patzel later died at the hospital.

While inside the apartment, officers found a butcher's knife blade next to the area where Patzel charged at them. One of the officers was also taken to a hospital and treated for injuries related to smoke inhalation.

Investigators ruled Officers Walling and Graham were justified in using deadly force and no charges will be filed.