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Wife of man killed by Fountain Police calls for change in federal complaint

Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 10, 2024

FOUNTAIN — The wife of a man who was shot and killed by Fountain Police officers last year has filed a federal complaint against the City of Fountain and the two officers involved.

Fountain Police said James Boyle was shot twice in the back after two officers responded to a home on Taos Circle on May 20, 2023, for a domestic disturbance between him and his wife, Shawna. Police said officers were at the home the night before for a similar call involving the couple.

Shawna said her son called the police on May 20 after he overheard his father while on the phone with his mom. Body camera video shows the son telling an officer that he heard his dad threaten to kill his mom. He also told police his dad, Mr. Boyle, had been on a meth bender and kept guns inside the home. The son said he wanted to get his mom a restraining order.

Fountain Police said Corporal Zackary Corey and Officer Destin Alvarez responded to the home to get more information from Shawna. Corporal Corey called the couple and asked them to step outside.

The body camera video shows James standing outside of the door as Corporal Corey approaches the house. Corporal Corey told James he was there for some ongoing issues and asks him to take his hands out of his pockets. James is seen stepping back toward the front door and the two officers grab him. Fountain Police said the couple's dog attacked Officer Alvarez, who shot and killed it.

About 20 seconds later, Officer Alvarez tases James and Corporal Corey shoots him in the back twice. The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office ruled on Thursday that the shooting was concerning, but not criminal. Fountain Police said the two officers are still employed with the department.

Shawna said the officers shot an unarmed man and should not be on the force.

“I just want justice for my husband, my family. And for this not to happen to other people," she said. "The more you get away with it, the worse you're probably going to do.”

Shawna said she has two seizure disorders which makes it hard for her to remember the details from that night. However, she said she remembers not wanting the police at their home that night.

In an interview after the shooting, Corporal Corey said he thought if James went back into the home he would get a firearm and kill somebody. Officer Alvarez said in an interview that he knew James to be anti-law enforcement. He said he did not want the situation to turn into a barricaded suspect, or a hostage situation since Shawna's elderly mother was also inside the home.

Daniel Kay, an attorney for the Boyle family, helped file the federal complaint against the city and the two officers. The complaint said the officers used excessive force and that James should've been allowed back inside the home since officers were there for a civil matter.

“They repeatedly tased Mr. Boyle for upwards of 35 seconds straight and they shot Mr. Boyle in the back when there was no warrant for his arrest, when there was no crime that occurred," said Kay.

The federal complaint is seeking monetary damages and changes in education and training at the Fountain Police Department. The DA's office told News5 it is outside of the office's purview to recommend termination or training for a peace officer and that those are considerations for individual law enforcement agencies to address as appropriate. Fountain Police told News5 it had no further comment on the incident.
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