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Officer-involved shooting involving Fort Carson soldier found justified

Oak Creek Shooting
Posted at 10:57 AM, Jul 09, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — An officer-involved shooting in April that killed a Fort Carson soldier has been ruled justified by the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

The Colorado Springs Police Department said they received a call just before 10 p.m. on April 19 from a woman who said her husband, later identified as 28-year-old Virgill Thorpe, was carrying a rifle.

The 4th Judicial District's review of the shooting stated his wife said she was physically assaulted by him and that he threatened to shoot officers if they came to the house, where four family members and friends of the couple were at as well.

When officers arrived to the home in the 3200 block of Oak Creek Drive East, they spoke to him at the front door. Police said he seemed agitated and that he said at one point "let's go to war." Officers were able to help the family members and family friend out of the house through a basement window before Thorpe came up to the window with an AR-15, according to the district attorney's office.

Four officers opened fire when Thorpe pointed the rifle at them. He was taken to the hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries.

The district attorney's office said this review was delayed because they were waiting for ballistics test results. One of Thorpe's stepdaughters said he fired his rifle first and "since two of the officers also fired rifles," the DA's Office wanted to make sure he did fire his rifle before making a decision on this officer-involved shooting.

Thorpe has been in the army since 2012 and arrived at Fort Carson in 2016. CSPD said the four officers were placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy, and that they were not injured in this incident.

The district attorney's office said that an officer is justified if "he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to defend himself from what he reasonably believes to be the imminent use of deadly physical force."

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