Larimer County coroner ID’s man killed in Loveland police shooting
The man killed in a Loveland police shooting over the weekend has been identified David Matthew Harper, 40, of Fort Collins.
About 11:39 p.m. Saturday, the Loveland Police Department received a report of a rollover crash on Colorado Highway 402 between South St. Louis Avenue and Boise Avenue. An officer was on the scene within two minutes, according to a police news release.
The officer said when they arrived on scene, a male suspect, now identified as Harper, was “brandishing a pistol,” according to the news release.
Shots were fired and the suspect was struck, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Harper’s manner and cause of death have not been released and are pending further investigation, according to the county coroner.
The Denver Post reported that the officers involved in the shooting were placed on unpaid leave, per departmental policy.
The Loveland Police Department did not return calls from the Coloradoan on Sunday seeking additional information.
According to Colorado court records, Harper had an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued on Oct. 31, 2018. The warrant was issued after he failed to appear on charges of driving under the influence with more than three prior convictions, a Class 4 felony, and driving after revocation, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Prior to the 2018 case, Harper pleaded guilty to driving under the influence with three or more prior convictions in 2017, from a July 5, 2016, arrest. He was sentenced to four years in community corrections.
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What’s next in the investigation
The 8th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, or CIRT, led by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. That investigation is ongoing, and more information is expected to be released Tuesday, according to Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson David Moore.
CIRT includes investigators from law enforcement agencies across the judicial district and is mandated by state law to investigate “an incident involving the discharge of a firearm by a peace officer that resulted in injury or death.” After investigating, the team will present its findings to the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office, which then will decide whether the level of force was warranted in the shooting.
When a police shooting occurs, departments also conduct internal reviews to determine if the agency’s policies and protocols were followed during the incident.
This was the third police shooting in the county in the past month and the sixth so far this year. There was one police shooting in 2018, five in 2017, and three in both 2015 and 2016, according to Coloradoan records.
Police shootings in Larimer County in 2019
- On Nov. 24, 54-year-old Edward Daniel Seguin was injured in a shooting involving Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies and an Estes Park police officer. After he was released from the hospital, Seguin was arrested on suspicion of felony menacing, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, and prohibited use of a weapon. He also faces a potential domestic violence sentence enhancer. The sheriff’s office confirmed that at least one law enforcement officer fired their weapon, but would not confirm how many or which agency was involved. The investigation is ongoing.
- On Nov. 11, Loveland police officers fatally shot an armed homicide suspect, Tammy Pierce, in her west Loveland home. Loveland Police Department identified three officers who fired their weapons during the shooting: Officer Paul Ashe, a 7-year veteran of the Loveland Police Department who previously worked at the Colorado State University Police Department; Officer Mat Grashon, a 5-year veteran of the Loveland Police Department who previously worked at the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming; and Master Sgt. Phil Metzler, a 25-year veteran of the Loveland Police Department who began his law enforcement career with the Evans Police Department. The three officers on the Loveland Police Department SWAT Team were placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with the police department’s policy. The investigation is ongoing.
- On April 29, Ashe of the Loveland Police Department shot Gavin David Gamez, who was suspected of robbing a Loveland Subway at gunpoint. Gamez survived a gunshot wound to his upper-right chest and his criminal case is ongoing. In May, Larimer County District Attorney Cliff Riedel cleared Ashe of wrongdoing in the incident.
- On Jan. 12, Fort Collins Police Officer Keith Hunter was responding to a domestic violence disturbance and shot an armed suspect holding his estranged wife hostage just as the suspect fatally shot himself. The officer shot him four times. In February, Riedel said Hunter was justified in shooting 36-year-old Joshua Moore. The Larimer County Coroner’s Office ruled Moore’s death a suicide.
- On Jan. 8, Larimer County Sheriff’s Deputy Ethan Powers shot at a 46-year-old male suspect during a standoff near Berthoud. The suspect was not hit by gunfire. Riedel cleared Powers of wrongdoing in the shooting. The man faced two charges stemming from the incident, but both were dismissed by the district attorney’s office May 28, according to Colorado court records.
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