The mother of a 19-year-old man killed by Colorado State University Police in 2017 has invoked Colorado’s new red flag law in an effort to take weapons away from the officer who shot her son.
On Jan. 9, Susan Holmes filed an extreme risk protection order petition against CSU Police Cpl. Philip Morris, according to court documents first reported by 9News.
A hearing has been set for Thursday in Larimer County court for a judge to decide if Holmes’ case against Morris warrants the removal of his firearms.
The red flag law allows law enforcement, a family member or household resident to petition to have a person’s firearms removed if a they are deemed by a judge to be a threat to themselves or others. The law has been invoked a handful of times statewide since it took effect Jan. 1, according to multiple news reports, including in Larimer County.
In the petition for invoking the red flag law, also called an extreme risk protection order, Holmes falsely claims she is a family or household member, specifically that she has a child in common with Morris. She also checked the box claiming Morris recklessly used a firearm.
“Phil Morris used his firearm to recklessly and violently kill 19 year old Jeremy Holmes,” she wrote in her petition.
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Holmes’ 19-year-old son, Jeremy Holmes, was fatally shot by police on July 1, 2017, after he charged an officer while wielding an 11-inch hunting knife. Officers warned him more than 40 times to drop the knife prior to firing their weapons. According to police body camera footage, Jeremy Holmes said he wanted to die before lunging at officers.
Earlier that day, Susan Holmes had called police out of concern for her son’s mental state after he allegedly threatened a family member.
On the petition, Holmes affirms a statement that says “there have been a pattern of acts or credible threats of violence by the respondent in the last year, including but not limited to acts or credible threats of violence against self or others.” Her explanation is simply: “Unknown with others but is possible.”
Holmes also claims it is “unknown but possible” that Morris has been convicted of a crime that involved domestic violence. Morris has no criminal history in Colorado, according to online court records.
She also cites Morris’ “ongoing violence and aggression from 2013-2017” as a reason to invoke an extreme risk protection order.
Since her son’s death, Holmes has become vocally critical of police. Morris and Fort Collins police officer Erin Mast — who also fired at Jeremy Holmes — were both cleared of wrongdoing by the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office.
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In December 2018, Holmes filed a civil lawsuit against Colorado State University asking them to release the full, unredacted body camera footage from her son’s death. A judge ruled against Holmes in July.
This is the second known red flag case filed in Larimer County. The first was filed just two days prior to Holmes’ petition.
Sady Swanson covers crime, courts, public safety and more throughout Northern Colorado. You can send your story ideas to her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan. Support our work and local journalism with a digital subscription at Coloradoan.com/subscribe.
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