Three law enforcement officers cleared in Boulder shooting

The three Boulder County law enforcement officers who fired their guns at a carjacking suspect who displayed a gun during a Boulder chase have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the bureau from the Boulder County District Attorney.

Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Josh Bonafede and Deputy Jeff Black and University of Colorado Boulder Police Officer Jon Allendorf were all cleared in the shooting, which took place on May 12.

Police say 25-year-old Trenton Joshua Dunham embarked on a series of gun crimes that began in Greeley before ending in Boulder. At one point, Bonafede, Black, and Allenfeld fired at Dunham’s vehicle after Dunham allegedly pointed a gun at another officer. None of the shots hit Dunham.

The shooting was investigated by the Boulder County Investigative Team, who then presented their findings to Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty.

Dougherty ruled in a letter released Monday that the three officers were justified in their actions.

“When a member of law enforcement uses potentially lethal physical force, the integrity of those investigations is important to everyone involved and to our community,” Dougherty said in a statement. “I am grateful that the Critical Incidents team conducted an extremely thorough and independent investigation. From our review of this investigation, it is abundantly clear that the officers acted lawfully and were legally justified in their response to the actions of Mr. Dunham Further, I want to acknowledge the quick response, teamwork and courage shown by law enforcement officers from multiple agencies in their efforts to apprehend Mr. Dunham.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Bonafede and Black were returned to full active duty after being placed on non-enforcement duties during the investigation, which is standard protocol.

“We appreciate the work of the Boulder County Investigative Team and the thorough review performed by the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office,” Boulder County Deputy Sheriff Tom Sloan said in a statement. .

CU Boulder Police said Allendorf, who was placed on paid leave during the investigation, is returning to active duty.

“I am grateful for the prompt and thorough investigation of this matter. I also commend the swift action and coordinated response of the CUPD, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and the Boulder Police Department, who have no doubt helped prevent injury or loss of life on May 12,” CU Boulder Police Chief Doreen Jokerst said in a statement. “In addition to our utmost commitment to public safety, we express the same commitment to the health and wellbeing of our officers as we work to onboard and support our officer to return to duty.”

According to the affidavit, the frenzy began when Dunham allegedly shot at his father’s house in Greeley and then stole his car. He then crashed that car and stole a truck at gunpoint Thursday morning in Broomfield.

Shortly after, Dunham was seen driving the stolen truck through the Pearl Street pedestrian mall, hitting property near 15th and Pearl streets. The description of the truck, which was a work vehicle with a company logo on the side, helped Broomfield police link the cases.

The vehicle was spotted again just before 7am. The officers who saw him coordinated the arresting sticks to disable the vehicle. Although the sticks deflated the tires, the vehicle continued to roll on its rims, the statement said.

According to the camera crew’s investigation, as Dunham was driving near Table Mesa Drive and 42nd Street, he pointed a handgun at an officer, who broadcast over the radio that Dunham was armed and pointed a gun on him.

Black, positioned in the westbound left-turn lane of southbound Moorhead Avenue, also saw Dunham point the gun at him and shot Dunham. Bonafede, positioned in the back of his vehicle at Table Mesa Drive and Moorhead Avenue, saw Dunham “aggressively aiming” at Black and also opened fire.

According to the report, Allendorf was at Table Mesa Drive and Moorhead Avenue when he believed Dunham fired a shot and fired his own gun at Dunham.

The three officers said they fired a total of seven shots, although only six casings were recovered. Bonafede and Black each said they fired three shots while Allendorf said he fired one.

Dunham then continued down Table Mesa Drive toward the US 36 eastbound entrance ramp, then down the sidewalk toward the RTD bus stop where people fled the path of the vehicle.

Officers were able to use police vehicle maneuvers to stop Dunham’s vehicle.

“In the circumstances, it was entirely reasonable for Commander Bonafede, Deputy Black and Officer Allendorf to believe that Mr. Dunham was armed with a firearm, driving a stolen vehicle and presenting an imminent threat of fatal injury to themselves, fellow officers, and civilians,” the report read. “According to Colorado law, the physical force used by Commander Bonafede, Deputy Black, and Officer Allendorf in response to Mr. Dunham was both reasonable and proper.”

Dunham is charged with attempted first degree murder of a peace officer after deliberation, two counts of attempted first degree murder – extreme indifference, two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of assault in first degree against a peace officer, two counts of attempted aggravated robbery, four counts of aggravated motor vehicle theft, criminal mischief, attempted second degree assault, six counts of threatening felony, unlawful discharge of a firearm, possession of a weapon by a former offender, first degree vehicular trespass, theft, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and three increased sentences for a crime of violence.

Dunham remains in custody on $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on August 19.

About Michael C. Lovelace

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