Suthers responds to Saturday shooting

Mayor calls for patience as investigation continues

Mayor John Suthers

Mayor John Suthers said Tuesday afternoon he understands why residents may be impatient to learn exactly what went on Saturday, Aug. 3, when a Colorado Springs Police Department officer (CSPD) shot and fatally wounded 19-year-old De’von Bailey. But he also called for patience, saying a full investigation takes time to accurately complete.

“We know that there can be frustration with the time this takes, but we cannot compromise the investigation by failing to spend the appropriate time gathering the facts; that would serve no one.”

It happened shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday on Preuss Road near Adams Park. Bailey was transported to a local hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Preliminary media reports indicated that Bailey was one of two men suspected in an armed robbery around 6:45 p.m. on nearby Fountain Boulevard; and according to police accounts, when they attempted to detain the men, one moved toward his gun.

Witness reports suggested he was shot in the back as he ran from police.

Police have said a weapon was recovered at the scene. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office assumed responsibility for the investigation.

Here is the mayor’s statement, in full:

“The City of Colorado Springs and CSPD recognize the concerns of many citizens of our community following the officer-involved shooting of De’Von Bailey on Saturday night. It is in the best interest of everyone involved, and our entire community, to ensure that the incident is fully and effectively investigated and an appropriate conclusion is reached. We know that there can be frustration with the time this takes, but we cannot compromise the investigation by failing to spend the appropriate time gathering the facts; that would serve no one.

“We pledge that the City and CSPD will work cooperatively and diligently with the investigating agency, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, to ensure a thorough evaluation of the evidence, and there is a robust process in place to accomplish this. The evidence gathered by the EPSO will be provided to the district attorney who will review the evidence and apply the Colorado law regarding use of force by police officers. The DA can decide whether or not to bring charges or refer the matter to a Grand Jury to make the determination. If the DA decides not to charge an officer with criminal conduct, he is required by law to issue a public report explaining his findings. A Grand Jury, in its discretion, can issue a report concerning its decision.

“A credible investigation and charging decision takes time and I ask the community to exercise patience as we allow the investigative and judicial process to work.”

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