Investigation Findings of Wellington’s Officer Involved Shooting

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Annie Lindgren | North Forty News


January 10, 2022, was a busy day for Wellington, from high-speed chases to helicopters landing downtown. Many heard of the officer-involved shooting that started at the Family Dollar store in Wellington and ended after a high-speed chase to Mulberry and I-25.

At 2:07 pm, a phone call alerted law enforcement to suspicious circumstances regarding an agitated man. When law enforcement contacted the man, he would not comply with the officer’s requests and instead left in his vehicle, driving 95-97 miles per hour southbound on I-25 towards Fort Collins, crossing back and forth to Frontage road. Law enforcement tried a PIT (Pursuit Immobilization Technique) to get the driver to stop, but it was unsuccessful due to the driver’s dangerous behaviors. Next, they used spikes near Vine and I-25, and this worked. The chase ended near the Mulberry exit. The driver continued to refuse compliance with law enforcement, and enough safety concerns piled into the equation that shots were fired. Once injured, the driver was pulled from the vehicle, arrested, and was taken to the hospital to treat non-life-threatening injuries of bullet wounds to his shoulder and side and a fractured clavicle.

Anytime there is an officer-involved shooting, there are protocols for a multi-agency team review of the incident. This means that agencies outside of the agency involved in the shooting will review all the evidence to confirm that the shooting was justified. Law Enforcement representatives from Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Larimer, Timnath, Colorado State University, and the District Attorney’s office participate in this investigation.

A report from the District Attorney’s office, dated February 10, shares the message, “I conclude that Sergeant Jackie Stimac was legally justified in her use of physical force to defend herself, other officers, and the public from the threat posed by Dustin Bartles on January 10, 2022. Because I have concluded that Sergeant Stimac was legally justified in her use of physical force, no criminal charges will be filed. My determination necessarily includes the assessment that there is no reasonable likelihood that any criminal charges could be proven unanimously beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The investigation is still pending regarding Mr. Bartles, but the report paints a picture of a man struggling with his desire to live and hoping the police would give him an easy way out. The good news is that he survived, as did everyone else involved.

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