Body Worn Camera Release

Written on 11/15/2023







November 15, 2023

2023-19447

Officer Involved Shooting

Body Worn Camera Release

On October 1, 2023, Officer Robb Phelps was dispatched to a disturbance with injuries in the 1400 block of 116th Avenue.  As Officer Phelps arrived on scene, several individuals were in a physical altercation with a male subject in the parking lot. Officer Phelps gave several loud, verbal commands to the individuals. One individual did not comply. As Officer Phelps deployed his Taser, in an attempt to de-escalate the situation, the individual produced a gun and pointed the weapon at another person. After several more loud, verbal commands to drop the gun were ignored by the individual, Officer Phelps then fired one round from his duty weapon, striking the subject.  

Officers preformed life saving measures until paramedics arrived on scene and transported the male subject to the hospital.  Ultimately, the male subject died from his injuries. 

We understand incidents of this nature deeply affect our citizens, family members and employees. We understand the concerns that arise after an officer involved shooting.  It is important to remember these situations are complex and often involve tough split-second decisions made by our officers. 

An independent investigation into the actions of the officer is conducted by the 17th Judicial Critical Incident Response Team, which is a team made up of investigators from law enforcement agencies in Adams and Broomfield Counties. This thorough investigation will likely take several months to complete and the findings will be presented to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s office for review. 

These actions collectively help to ensure a fair, transparent and accountable response to officer involved shootings 

Our hope in releasing the body worn camera (BWC) footage helps to provide a better understanding of what occurred on October 1. Sharing information about the incident, the investigation and outcome helps us to build trust with our community by demonstrating transparency and accountability. 

Body worn cameras are used by all Westminster Police Officers and are worn to record a general sight line perspective.  Although body worn cameras are a great tool, they are limited and cannot record all of the observations an officer can make.  When activated, both audio and visual recordings begin, however there is a 30 second buffer of video without audio. 

The following video may be difficult to watch and viewer discretion is advised. This video contains graphic images and strong language. 

For reference, below are the press releases from the original incident which contain historical information on call history at the residence, as well as the attempt of our Co-Responders to contact the male subject. 

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10/2/23 -In an effort to be transparent, we wanted to provide you with additional history on the individual and the incident involving our officer last evening.  Again, this is preliminary information and facts may change as the investigation continues. 

Officers had responded to the address of the individual five separate times since September 29th for noise disturbances.  Each time the officers tried to contact the resident, he would not answer the door or speak to officers.  Around 3:45pm on October 1st officers again responded to the residence with a Co-Responder to speak to the individual, however: again, he would not answer the door or phone calls to check his well-being. 

On October 1, around 7:53pm Westminster Police received a call regarding an adult male who was throwing things off of a balcony and damaging cars in the parking lot.  Several residents intervened and were wrestling with the individual when officers got to the location. 

Due to the active disturbance, a Co-Responder was not dispatched to the scene with the officer.  Our officers ensure the scene is safe before requesting a Co-Responder. 

The officers were wearing their body worn cameras during this incident.  

The investigation into the actions of the officer is still ongoing and will likely take several months. 

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10/1/23 - This evening around 7:53pm Westminster Officers were dispatched to an active disturbance in the 1400 block of 116th Avenue.  While officers were responding to the location, dispatch aired an adult male was being held down by several other citizens.   

When the officer got to the scene, an adult male was on the ground wrestling with several residents.  The officer deployed his Taser; however, this de-escalation technique was not effective and the male displayed a handgun during the struggle with one of the residents.  The officer fired his duty weapon, striking the male. 

Officers began preforming life saving measures and the male was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. 

The officer will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol, while this incident is investigated. An independent investigation into the actions of the officer is being conducted by the 17th Judicial Critical Incident Response Team, which is a team made up of investigators from law enforcement agencies in Adams and Broomfield Counties. The team is in the early stages of the investigation and will interview independent witnesses, watch any available video and collect forensic evidence. Our understanding of this incident may change as additional information from this investigation is gathered. This thorough investigation will likely take several months to complete and the findings will be presented to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s office for review. 

The identity of the deceased individual will be released by the Adams County Coroner’s Office. 

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https://www.westminsterco.gov/PublicSafety/PoliceDepartment/Body-WornCameraFootageLibrary