The three are all veterans of the department. Miles Blumhardt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Autopsy reports released Tuesday confirm that city police fatally shot a woman after her long-term partner was found dead in their garage in Loveland last month.
Tammy Pierce, 59, was shot and killed on Nov. 11 by Loveland Police SWAT Team members who responded to her home near Mehaffey Park to investigate a reported homicide. Police entered the home after finding a body, later identified as Pierce’s long-term partner Samuel Harding, 60, in the couple’s garage at 3376 Cuchara Court in Loveland.
When the SWAT members entered the home, they encountered Pierce, who police say refused several commands and fired at officers, striking one in the tactical helmet. Officers returned fire, and Pierce was killed. One officer suffered minor injuries, according to police.
The coroner on Tuesday ruled Harding’s death a homicide as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Pierce is believed to have killed him.
Pierce’s death was ruled a homicide as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, according to her autopsy results.
Investigators have not released the number of gunshots that struck Harding.
They also did not say how many shots struck Pierce or how many shots were fired at her.
Previous reporting: 3 Loveland police officers who shot homicide suspect ID’d
The Eighth Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, or CIRT, is handling the investigation into both Harding’s death and the following police shooting that killed Pierce, with Larimer County Sheriff’s Office serving as the lead investigating agency.
CIRT includes investigators from law-enforcement agencies across the judicial district and is mandated by Colorado 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 three Loveland police officers involved in the shooting were justified in their use of force.
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson David Moore said Tuesday the case has not yet been sent to the district attorney’s office.
The three Loveland police officers involved in the shooting of Pierce have been identified as seven-year LPD veteran Paul Ashe, five-year department veteran Mat Grashon and 25-year department veteran Master Sgt. Phil Metzler,
The officers are on paid administrative leave.
The incident was the first of three in which police officers fired their weapons in Larimer County in the past month.
Police shootings in 2019 in Larimer County
There have been six shootings involving police officers in the county so far this year. There was one in 2018, five in 2017, and three in both 2015 and 2016, according to Coloradoan records.
- On Saturday, a rollover crash turned into a fatal shooting involving Loveland police. A 40-year-old man, since identified as David Matthew Harper of Fort Collins, was “brandishing a pistol” when police arrived on the scene of the reported crash, according to Loveland Police Department. Shots were fired, and Harper was struck and pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not released additional details about the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
- On Nov. 24, 54-year-old Edward Daniel Seguin was injured in a shooting involving Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies and an Estes Park police officer. After he was released from the hospital, Seguin was arrested on suspicion of felony menacing, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, and prohibited use of a weapon. He also faces a potential domestic violence sentence enhancer. The sheriff’s office confirmed that at least one law enforcement officer fired their weapon, but would not confirm how many or which agency was involved. The investigation is ongoing.
- On April 29, Ashe of the Loveland Police Department shot Gavin David Gamez, who was suspected of robbing a Loveland Subway at gunpoint. Gamez survived a gunshot wound to his upper-right chest and his criminal case is ongoing. In May, Larimer County District Attorney Cliff Riedel cleared Ashe of wrongdoing in the incident.
- On Jan. 12, Fort Collins Police Officer Keith Hunter was responding to a domestic violence disturbance and shot an armed suspect holding his estranged wife hostage just as the suspect fatally shot himself. The officer shot him four times. In February, Riedel said Hunter was justified in shooting 36-year-old Joshua Moore. The Larimer County Coroner’s Office ruled Moore’s death a suicide.
- On Jan. 8, Larimer County Sheriff’s Deputy Ethan Powers shot at a 46-year-old male suspect during a standoff near Berthoud. The suspect was not hit by gunfire. Riedel cleared Powers of wrongdoing in the shooting. The man faced two charges stemming from the incident, but both were dismissed by the district attorney’s office May 28, according to Colorado court records.
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