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Clear Creek County officer-involved shooting referred to grand jury

District Attorney Bruce Brown said he believes it's in the public's interest.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — The officer-involved shooting incident that left Darrin Jon Patterson, 58, of Idaho Springs dead is being sent to a grand jury, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney's Office said in a news release Tuesday.

District Attorney Bruce Brown said he believes that referral to the Fifth Judicial District Grand Jury 2020-2021 for indictment or issuance of a grand jury report is in the public's interest.

RELATED: Clear Creek County deputies shoot armed man who led them on chase in burning car, sheriff's office says

Patterson was killed after he fled from a traffic stop, led deputies on a chase up a mountain highway and set fire to his own vehicle, according to the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office (CCCSO).

The incident started at 9:55 p.m. on Saturday, May 9 in Idaho Springs, when an officer tried to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect, later identified as Patterson, said Bruce Snelling, CCCSO undersheriff. 

It's unclear why the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which was a silver Saturn sedan.

Patterson fled, and officers pursued briefly before calling off the chase. CCCSO deputies spotted the vehicle about 10 minutes later and pursued the driver south on Colorado 103, Snelling said.

During the pursuit, Patterson set fire to items in the back seat of his vehicle and continued driving in the burning car for four or five minutes, Snelling said.

Patterson, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, stopped in the 9500 block of Peaceful Valley Lane about 10:13 p.m. -- just north of Echo Lake Park and the junction with Mt. Evans Road.

Two deputies, Nick DiBiase and Kyle Gould, approached Patterson, who brandished a handgun at them while in the burning car. Shots were fired, and Patterson was killed, Snelling said.

It's not clear whether Patterson fired a weapon. Snelling said a second weapon -- a rifle or shotgun -- was found in the vehicle.

The deputies involved in the shooting are on administrative leave. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is conducting the shooting investigation, Snelling said.

The district attorney's office on Tuesday said, "considering recent events, this statement references the race of the decedent and involved deputies as white."

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