Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Soldier died of suicide during shootout with Fountain police

lisa walton lisa.walton@gazette.com - Published: March 11, 2014

The bullet that killed a Fort Carson soldier during a gunfight with Fountain police in November came from his own gun.

The Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office revealed the fact Tuesday as it wrapped up the investigation.

About 5 p.m. Nov. 11, Fountain police responded to reports that a car had crashed into a house.

Fountain Police Sgt. Timothy Johnson and officer Tara Mallet arrived and found Jonathan Clark sitting in his car in the front yard of a home at 405 Crest Drive.

Witnesses said Clark had already fired a gun from inside the car, so officers took cover behind other parked cars and ordered Clark out of his car, but he refused and threatened suicide.

When one of the officers aimed a gun-mounted flashlight at Clark, he said, "I have one of those, too," and pointed a gun at officers.

That's when Johnson and Mallet opened fire, shooting several rounds at Clark, who was still sitting in his car.

Only one of the police bullets hit Clark, in his wrist.

The fatal shot to Clark's chest came from Clark's own gun, according to the El Paso County Coroner. He was rushed to Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The district attorney's office cleared the police officers of any wrongdoing, saying their use of deadly force was reasonable and justified.

Half an hour before the incident, Clark was speeding down Interstate 25 firing his gun out the driver's side window and telling his passenger that he wished to join his deceased mother, the district attorney's office said.

Clark, from Germantown, N.Y., had completed deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait and had been stationed at Fort Carson since July 2009. He was assigned to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team with the 4th Infantry Division.

The 25-year-old had returned to the Mountain Post after a four-month deployment to Kuwait just five months before his death.

According to a family friend, he is survived by his wife and a child.

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