A Colorado Springs police officer was justified in fatally shooting a 48-year-old man who rammed a stolen truck into a police cruiser and threatened an officer with a hatchet, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office ruled Thursday.
Officer Brock Lofgren, who joined the department Feb. 12, 2014, “acted reasonably” when he shot Bill Akes on Jan. 12 and will not face criminal charges, the DA’s Office said in a news release.
After responding to a reported disturbance at Elevate Apartment Homes, 340 Crestone Lane, about 4 a.m., Lofgren began running license plates in the parking lot “because he was aware that the complex’s parking lot often contained stolen vehicles,” the release says.
He spotted a man sleeping in a gold GMC pickup with no front license plate and a blanket covering most of the windshield. The truck bed was full of property, the cab was full of backpacks and the keys were in the ignition.
According to the DA’s Office’s account:
A check of the truck’s VIN revealed it had been reported stolen in Fountain. When backup arrived, Logren and Sgt. Shawn Peterson boxed in the truck with their vehicles and attempted to take the sleeping man — later identified as Akes — into custody.
Lofgren opened the passenger-side door, grabbed Akes’ left arm and ordered him out. Instead, Akes started the truck.
With both officers inside the door, Akes backed up and rammed Lofgren’s cruiser.
“Peterson, concerned that he would be dragged under the truck if the suspect tried to back up again, reached over and turned off the truck, then removed the keys and threw them into the parking lot,” the release says. Lofgren tried to use a Taser on Akes, but “was unable to get a good impact stun.” Akes tried to take the Taser away, but Lofgren threw it out of the truck.
When Akes raised a hatchet or ax in the air, threatening Peterson, Lofgren shouted, “Ax, ax, ax,” then fired what he believed were three shots.
Four shell casings were found, and a hatchet was recovered from the truck.
An autopsy showed that Akes had methamphetamine in his system.
Both officers were wearing cameras, but at some point during the struggle, the audio was muted.