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Gazette Premium Content DA rules Colorado Springs officer-involved shooting justified

By Matt Steiner Updated: June 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

A 61-year-old former American Legion chaplain is in jail and a Colorado Springs Police officer is off the hook after the officer was ruled to be justified for her actions in a May 30 gunfire exchange.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said Friday that Officer Allison Detwiler's shot that wounded Chester Dean in the hip was "reasonable, appropriate and justified."

According to the DA's office, Detwiler and other officers went to Dean's Holt Drive home May 30 just after 1 p.m. after reports that Dean was suicidal. While Detwiler walked toward the eastern Colorado Springs house, Dean allegedly began shooting at two witnesses nearby.

The officer fired back, wounding Dean, who was treated by officers and later taken to a local hospital.

Dean served as chaplain of the Colorado Springs American Legion Post Centennial Post 209, former post commander Jay Bowen said.

Bowen said he was shocked to hear about shooting and subsequent arrest of Dean.

"When he served as our chaplain, he did so honorably," Bowen said. "He did everything we asked and more."

Dean was honored by the post's Sons of the American Legion members, earning the 2012-13 Volunteer of the Year Award, according to the post's December newsletter.

Bowen was the post commander at the time of the shooting. He said Dean had recently ended his three-year term as chaplain when the incident occurred.

The DA's report said Dean wielded a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun that day. Evidence collected at the scene of the shooting showed that two rounds were fired from Dean's weapon, the report said.

According to court records, Dean was arrested on suspicion of more than a dozen crimes, including attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer. He is being held in the El Paso County jail. Bond has been set at $500,000.

Dean will make his preliminary court appearance on July 16.

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