No Charges In May 22, 2020 Teller County Deputy-involved Shooting

The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the Teller County Sheriff’s Office deputy-involved shooting that occurred on Friday, May 22, 2020, in Teller County, Colorado. Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute 16-2.5-301, captioned Peace Officer-Involved Shooting investigations, all officer-involved shootings that result in injury or death shall be reviewed by a multi-agency team, a Deadly Force Investigation Team.

Colorado Revised Statute 20-1-114 states that a district attorney shall, if no criminal charges are filed following the completion of an investigation pursuant to section 16-2.5-301, C.R.S., release and publicly disclose a report explaining the district attorney’s findings, including the basis for the decision not to charge the officer with any criminal conduct. This will be an abbreviated report as there is an open and pending criminal case against Robert John Rowland.

On May 22, 2020, at approximately 9:00 PM, a Teller County Sheriff’s deputy, who was searching for a suspect wanted for questioning in an alleged felony menacing that had occurred the day before, spotted a man matching that description walking on Park County Road #94 near the Park County Line. It was quickly determined that the suspect was the individual being sought. Sergeant William Markus, who was driving a truck, began to speak with the suspect, who pulled a handgun from his waistband. Sergeant Markus continued giving commands to him, ordering him to put the gun down and extending offers of help. The suspect, identified as Robert John Rowland, refused to comply with the deputy’s commands and continued walking while waiving his gun around. Sgt. Markus observed the suspect chamber a round and put the gun to his head. Corporal Sean Boe, who was armed with a Smith & Wesson, M&P AR-15, soon arrived and got in to the passenger side of Sgt. Markus’s vehicle with his gun pointed toward the suspect. Both deputies continued to attempt to verbally engage Rowland in an effort to convince him to drop his weapon, but they were unsuccessful. At one point, as Rowland raised his gun, pointed it toward the officers and charged the vehicle, Corporal Boe shot one round, striking the suspect in the midsection. Other deputies who had arrived on scene tended to the suspect, who was then airlifted to a local hospital. He has since recovered from his injury.

Robert John Rowland has been charged with two counts of 1st Degree Assault-Threatening a Peace Officer with a Weapon, among other charges. His arraignment is set for August 31, 2020, in Teller County. Please keep in mind these charges are merely allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Colorado Revised Statutes 18-1-707 provides that a peace officer is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be imminent use of deadly physical force, or to effect an arrest of a person he reasonably believes has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicated that he is likely to endanger human life or to inflict serious bodily to another unless apprehended without delay. In addition, Colorado Revised Statutes 18-1-704 provides all citizens with the right to defend themselves with deadly force if they reasonably believe they are in imminent danger of being killed or receiving great bodily injury and reasonably believe a lesser degree of force is inadequate.

Following a careful review of the facts and evidence, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has concluded that Teller County Sheriff Corporal Boe acted reasonably when he fired his weapon on May 22, 2020. No charges will be filed.

Teller County Sheriff’s Office deputies are not equipped with body worn cameras, nor are the vehicles outfitted with dash cams, so there is no video footage of this incident.

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