SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — No charges will be filed against a Dillion police officer and Summit County Sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a teen armed with a BB gun that was a replica of a handgun in the Summit Cove neighborhood in July, the 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office said Thursday.
Charlie Foster, 18, was killed in the shooting the morning of July 9 on Summit Drive in Dillon. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation investigated the shooting and presented their findings to the 5th Judicial Attorney's Office, who said in a decision letter this week that they will not be filing charges.
> The video above aired July 9.
"The family of Charles 'Charlie' Foster continues to mourn the loss of their beautiful son," attorneys for the family said in a news release after the decision was announced. "Charlie was experiencing a mental health crisis and he needed help. Unfortunately, he was unable to receive the professional help that he needed, despite his family’s efforts to get him that help."
According to the decision letter, around 7:22 a.m. July 9, someone called 911 and said there was an armed man at his front door saying this was "his house." Several other people made reports to 911 around the same time, Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said in a video briefing.
A Dillon Police Department officer and Summit County Sheriff's Office deputy responded and found the man, later identified as Foster, who had a gun walking on Summit Drive.
The deputy and the officer tried to negotiate with Foster for about 10 minutes, the letter says. A sergeant also arrived on scene during the negotiations.
At one point, Foster put down his gun and walked toward the officers, as they commanded, but less than two minutes later, he went back and picked up the gun, the letter says. He eventually pointed the gun at where the deputy was standing, the letter says. That was when the officer and the deputy shot Foster. He was shot four times in total, the letter says.
Law enforcement immediately began lifesaving measures, and paramedics arrived on scene about three minutes later. Foster was pronounced dead on the scene, the letter says.
Investigators determined the gun Foster was holding was a BB gun replica of a Smith and Wesson M&P 40. There were no BBs in the gun, investigators said.
"This case is a tragedy," the family's attorneys said in the release. "Charlie knew that the object in his hand was a BB gun and that it was unloaded. He was not trying to hurt anybody. Charlie was taken from this world too soon. Charlie will live forever in our hearts and our memories."
The sheriff's office said after the shooting that Foster had been contacted several times in the preceding few weeks by the Summit County S.M.A.R.T. team, but refused help each time he was contacted.
“Our Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team, our S.M.A.R.T. team as we refer to [them], responded to numerous calls with this individual over the last 24 hours and has actually been working with this individual for the last three weeks," FitzSimons said at the time. "During all of the interactions with this individual, at no time did the person present a danger to himself or others and refused voluntary services, and so was let go to family during these contacts.”
The decision letter says S.M.A.R.T. responded to calls about Foster three times between 9:20 a.m. and 11:51 p.m. July 8, the day before the shooting. Twice they determined he "was not a danger to himself or others," and the other time "determined that he was not delusional or having auditory or visual hallucinations," the letter says.
A family member called again to request S.M.A.R.T. around 2 a.m. July 9, but no one was on duty, so the sergeant responded, the letter says. At that time, "It was determined that he was not a danger to himself or others."
Foster's mother reported him missing around 4:43 a.m. on the morning of the shooting, the letter says. The sergeant responded again, but he and Foster's mother were unsuccessful in finding him.
FitzSimons said the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is conducting an internal affairs investigation to examine "any areas where improvement can be made" and determine "whether the actions of the involved deputies and officers were within policy and are consistent with our training."
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