A pair of police officers have been found to be justified after opening fire with an AR-15 and a 12 gauge shotgun at a fleeing suspect.
Dash cam video clearly shows the stolen Ford Explorer, driven by 28-year-old Loren Simpson, approaching the deputies and the patrol car they used to block the road.
Both deputies are armed with long guns for what they called a high-risk felony stop.
Standing in front of the approaching stolen vehicle, the deputies yell several times. “Shut it down,” one yells, with the other screaming “right now!”
The vehicle then veers slightly off road and begins to accelerate, and the officers open fire.
The deputies told investigators they felt threatened by the accelerating Explorer coming toward them. Deputy Jason Robinson had tears in his eyes as he described the incident.
“I saw the front wheels turn in my direction,” Robinson said. “At that point, I knew he didn’t care he was going through me and he was going to kill me.”
For five seconds, the officers unload into the vehicle with a total of 18 rounds from the AR-15 and 6 buckshot rounds from the shotgun. Two of those rounds struck Simpson, one of them through the back of his head.
“I reached the car. I could see that he was slunk forward. He had blue gloves on his hands. They were on his lap. I could see he wasn’t breathing,” Robinson said. “It was a cold day and we could all see our breath. There was nothing coming.”
The family says they are undeterred by the coroner’s inquest ruling and have more confidence that they will win in civil court, where the burden of proof is substantially lower.
“We are confident that the outcome will be different when we are allowed to present the rest of the evidence and cross examine the witnesses at the civil trial,” attorney Nathan Wagner said. “We look forward to the opportunity to continue pursuing justice for the family.”