CAÑON CITY — Family and friends of Dalton Lee Buckholz, who died from "multiple gunshot wounds" during an officer-involved shooting in Cañon City on May 2nd say "it's really hard" still waiting for answers four months after his death.
The wounds included, but were not limited to, one in the back of the neck and one in the back of the chest.
In a report released last month, the Coroner ruled Buckholz's manner of death as homicide.
It is my opinion that Dalton Buckholz, a 28-year-old adult White male died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. These injuries were sustained during an encounter with law enforcement. The gunshot wounds of the right hand (GSW #3 and #4) may represent one or more re-entrance(s) of the gunshot wounds of the neck and left chest (GSW #1 and #2).
"I know Dalton and I know he never would've done anything to not come home," said Miranda Hines, Buckholz's Fiancée.
"They call it a homicide... Homicide is murder?... There is no excuse for murder," said Terry Ferguson, Buckholz's stepfather.
Family and Friends are planning a protest on Saturday across from the Cañon City Loaf and Jug, one of multiple protests they have hosted in the last few months.
Many questions are still unknown surrounding the events of the evening Buckholz was shot, including why he and the passenger were pulled over, whether or not the two were armed, what cause the officers had for shooting, why the investigation has taken the amount of time it has.
Buckholz's passenger was also shot during the incident and admitted to the hospital, but survived and was ultimately discharged from the hospital to go home.
News 5 reached out to the Cañon City Police Department and Fremont County's District Attorney for comment, but neither responded.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says they have concluded their portion of the investigation. Under Colorado Law, the agency involved in any shooting cannot investigate their own officers, instead it falls to another jurisdiction to gather evidence and present their findings to the local District Attorney's Office which then determines whether to pursue charges or deem the incident as justified.
According to a news release issued by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in May, two members of Cañon City Police Department were attempting to make contact with the driver of a 1999 Infiniti at around 10:00 p.m. near the Quality Inn motel along US Hwy 50 and Dozier Avenue.
At some point, shots were fired. Buckholz was later pronounced dead. A 20-year old male passenger was also shot but survived his wounds.
The same autopsy that ruled the manner of death as a homicide also noted Buckholz had amphetamines, methamphetamine, and morphine in his system.
"I don't want this to continue to be swept under the rug just because he had tattoos and drugs in his system. Addiction is hard. I beat my addiction... I'm 5 years sober... Dalton was fighting his addiction day in and day out," said Hines.
The two officers were not injured during the incident. They were placed on administrative leave per department policy.