Larimer Sheriff's deputy cleared in shooting of unarmed man

FORT COLLIN COLORADOAN - Seconds before he was shot by a Larimer County Sheriff's Office deputy on the southeast edge of Fort Collins, 23-year-old Chet Knuppel was quickly moving toward three officers in a muddy field.

Even though Knuppel was later discovered to be unarmed, Larimer County District Attorney Cliff Riedel deemed the deputy's lethal use of force justified Thursday and provided more details on the events leading up to the deadly June 30 encounter.

"It was objectively reasonable to believe that Mr. Knuppel was armed with a gun and that he intended to shoot the deputies when in range," Reidel wrote in a letter detailing his opinion on the shooting.

In the hour before his death, Knuppel had reportedly taken his parents' car without their permission, threatened to shoot an 82-year-old man and steal his car, and forced another driver off the road before crashing near the intersection of Timberline and Carpenter roads.

Witnesses said Knuppel fled into a field when he heard the sounds of approaching sirens. 

Read more at the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

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