Larimer County coroner ID’s man killed in Loveland police shooting

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The man killed in a Loveland police shooting over the weekend has been identified David Matthew Harper, 40, of Fort Collins. 

About 11:39 p.m. Saturday, the Loveland Police Department received a report of a rollover crash on Colorado Highway 402 between South St. Louis Avenue and Boise Avenue. An officer was on the scene within two minutes, according to a police news release. 

The officer said when they arrived on scene, a male suspect, now identified as Harper, was “brandishing a pistol,” according to the news release. 

Shots were fired and the suspect was struck, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Harper’s manner and cause of death have not been released and are pending further investigation, according to the county coroner.

The Denver Post reported that the officers involved in the shooting were placed on unpaid leave, per departmental policy.

The Loveland Police Department did not return calls from the Coloradoan on Sunday seeking additional information.

According to Colorado court records, Harper had an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued on Oct. 31, 2018. The warrant was issued after he failed to appear on charges of driving under the influence with more than three prior convictions, a Class 4 felony, and driving after revocation, a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

Prior to the 2018 case, Harper pleaded guilty to driving under the influence with three or more prior convictions in 2017, from a July 5, 2016, arrest. He was sentenced to four years in community corrections.

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What’s next in the investigation

The 8th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, or CIRT, led by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. That investigation is ongoing, and more information is expected to be released Tuesday, according to Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson David Moore.

CIRT includes investigators from law enforcement agencies across the judicial district and is mandated by state law to investigate “an incident involving the discharge of a firearm by a peace officer that resulted in injury or death.” After investigating, the team will present its findings to the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office, which then will decide whether the level of force was warranted in the shooting.

When a police shooting occurs, departments also conduct internal reviews to determine if the agency’s policies and protocols were followed during the incident. 

This was the third police shooting in the county in the past month and the sixth so far this year. There was one police shooting in 2018, five in 2017, and three in both 2015 and 2016, according to Coloradoan records.

Police shootings in Larimer County in 2019

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