Prosecutors on Tuesday said a Durango Police Department officer who shot and killed a man suspected of burglarizing an auto parts store three months ago in Durango “was legally justified in using deadly physical force.”
Sixth Judicial District Attorney Christian Champagne conducted a review of the officer-involved shooting, releasing an eight-page report detailing his findings Tuesday.
The shooting occurred July 1 at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts at 2475 Main Ave.
According to the report and a news release issued by the District Attorney’s Office, police officers were dispatched to the store after a burglar alarm was triggered. Officers arrived to find the interior lights on and a man inside, later identified as Jason Snow.
“As the male tried to run through the broken glass, officer Ingle saw the gun in the male’s right hand, pointed at (him),” Champagne wrote in his report. “Officer Ingle, believing himself to be in danger of deadly force, discharged his firearm nine times, killing the suspect.”
Champagne’s report found Ingle’s actions to be warranted. He made special mention of how quickly events unfolded: In less than five seconds, the suspect sprinted for the front door; Ingle drew his weapon and ordered the suspect to drop the gun; the suspect fired one round in Ingle’s general direction and crashed through the front door; Ingle fired one shot, ordered the suspect to drop the gun again and fired eight more rounds.
“In reviewing the body-worn camera footage, one is struck by how quickly these events take place,” the report says. “... The general tenor of the events, which began as entirely mundane, escalated into a deadly gunfight in the blink of an eye, and subsided almost as quickly.”
Champagne said Ingle’s recall and memory of events in statements to investigators “is remarkably accurate and consistent with the video of the events.”
“Under the circumstances, officer Ingle was legally justified in using deadly physical force,” Champagne wrote. “Therefore, the District Attorney’s Office will not be filing any criminal charges.”
Police arrested 23-year-old Paige Hiehle, who is suspected of aiding in the burglary by serving as a lookout and planned getaway driver. Hiehle has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary of a building and is set for sentencing Oct. 30.
Durango police Chief Bob Brammer said the report details a thorough investigation and review of the incident.
“My hope now is that everyone involved can continue the healing process,” he said in an email to The Durango Herald.