Relatives are pressing that charges be filed against officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Colorado man who called 911 for help when his SUV got stuck this summer.
Christian Glass, 22, of Boulder, was shot by a Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy early June 11 in Silver Plum, according to attorneys for his family and the Sheriff’s Office.
He appeared to be holding a knife when he was shot five times after refusing to exit a Honda Pilot for nearly 70 minutes, according to body camera video and an autopsy report provided by his family’s lawyer.
Lawyers for his family said that officers “increased and actively launched force” that led to his death.
“The mere act of calling 911 for help cannot be a death sentence,” the Denver-based Rathod/Mohammadbhai law firm said in a statement Tuesday.
‘He trusted the police to come and help him’
Glass’s parents, who are from New Zealand and the United Kingdom, made their first public comments this week after their son was killed.
“He got stuck on a small pile of rocks by the side of the road and called 911 for help,” Simon Glass told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday. “It was dark, and he was really worried. He trusted the police to come and help him. Instead, they attacked and killed him.”
Sally Glass said her son “did nothing wrong,” adding, “he was too afraid to get out of his car.”
‘Rational and uncooperative’
Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday, and the undersheriff could not be contacted by phone.
Lawyers for the Glass family provided NBC News on Wednesday a condensed version of body camera video from the shooting, unedited body camera video, an autopsy report and public statements from agencies involved in the incident.
According to a June 11 statement from the sheriff’s office, deputies were alerted to a call for “motorist assistance” at 11:21 p.m. on June 10.
The statement said, “Representatives arrived and found a vehicle, which appeared to be involved in an accident. The driver and sole occupant, an adult white male, immediately became argumentative and uncooperative with the deputies and stabbed himself with a knife. Equipped,” the statement said. , “Additional law enforcement officers arrived and spent more than an hour trying to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution.”
The deputy broke windows and pulled out a knife, the agency wrote.
“The suspect reared himself with a rock and another with a knife,” the statement said. “Representatives deployed the less lethal bean bag, and the Taser, with negative results. The suspect eventually tried to stab an officer and was shot.”
Kanch was declared brought dead at the scene.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is investigating, the sheriff’s office said, and a deputy has been placed on administrative leave, pending results.
Clear Creek County District Attorney Heidi McCollum said her office is also reviewing the shooting.
“This office is required to issue a report or present the case to a grand jury to investigate further or decide whether to issue an indictment,” McCallum said in a statement. “As soon as the review process and thorough investigation are complete, I will issue my decision on this office’s action.”
An autopsy determined Glass died of gunshot wounds. It also showed that they had .01% blood alcohol levels and THC in their system, as well as amphetamines, which Rathod said were likely from a prescription to treat ADHD.
Rathod said Glass most likely had mental distress when he called 911.
‘I’m not dangerous’
Glass indicates in his nearly 25-minute call to 911 that he is scared.
“My vehicle got stuck very badly. … I need immediate help, please,” he says. “I won’t be fine on my own.”
When the dispatcher asks about the weapons, Glass says he has two knives, a hammer and a rubber mallet.
“As soon as the officers come here, I’ll throw them out the window,” he says. “I’m not dangerous. I’ll keep my hands fully visible. I understand this is a strange situation.”
Rathod said Glass was an amateur geologist and used knives, hammers and mallets for his hobbies.
Video provided by lawyers for the Glass family shows an officer ordering Glass to get out of the car.
“Sir, I’m scared,” responds Glass.
The officers tell him that there is no need to panic and they are there to help.
At another point in the video, an officer threatens to break the window of the SUV.
More officers arrive about 18 minutes into the standoff, the video shows.
After about 67 minutes, Glass makes a heart gesture with his hands at the officers. A female voice is heard saying, “Same back to you, but come out and talk to us.”
Glass appears to blow kisses towards the officers.
Shortly after, an officer announced that police would break into the Glass SUV.
“It’s time to move on into the night – okay. We have to move on,” the official says in the video.
The SUV’s front passenger-side window is broken, and officers are heard ordering Glass to drop the knife. He is shot with a bean bag as the officers yell at him for dropping the knife.
Glass is then shot with a stun gun and starts screaming frantically.
“You can save yourself. You can still save yourself,” an officer can be heard saying.
Glass appears to be shouting: “Lord listen to me. Lord, listen to me.”
With a knife in his hand, Glass appears to be turning to an officer shortly before he shoots. He is then seen stabbing himself before releasing the knife.
Rathod said Glass’ knife injuries were superficial.