LOVELAND, Colo. — A 59-year-old woman was killed in an exchange of gunfire with members of the Loveland Police Department's (LPD) SWAT team, according to police.

At about 7:15 p.m. Monday, an officer with LPD responded to a home in the 3300 block of Cuchara Court for a welfare check following a report of a possible homicide, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) said.

The homicide victim was identified Wednesday as 60-year-old Samuel Harding. His cause of death will be released by the coroner.

The responding officer arrived on scene and located Harding inside the garage of the home, according to the LCSO. That officer then backed out of the garage and waited for the Loveland SWAT Team to arrive. 

A little more than an hour later, at 8:30 p.m., members of the SWAT team entered the residence and encountered a Tammy Pierce, 59, armed with a firearm. 

Pierce refused "multiple commands", according to the LCSO and then fired at officers. One bullet struck an officer in the ballistic helmet, and several officers returned fire.

Pierce was struck during that exchange of gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene. Pierce and Harding were in a long-term relationship and lived together at the home. No one else was inside the home at the time of the incident, the LCSO said. 

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The SWAT member who struck in the ballistic helmet was not seriously injured. He was evaluated at the scene and medically cleared. 

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The SWAT members who fired their weapons were placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with Loveland Police Department policy.

They are:

  • Officer Paul Ashe, a seven-year veteran of the Loveland Police Department. Officer Ashe came to the Loveland Police Department from the Colorado State University Police Department.
  • Officer Mat Grashorn, a five-year veteran of the Loveland Police Department. Officer Grashorn began his law enforcement career at the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming.
  • Master Sergeant Phil Metzler, a 25-year veteran of the Loveland Police Department. Master Sergeant Metzler began his law enforcement career with the Evans Police Department.

The 8th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) responded to take over the investigation. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office will be the lead investigating agency.

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