Clear Creek deputies indicted, fired over shooting death of Christian Glass

Two Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputies involved in the shooting death of a 22-year-old Boulder man who called for help after crashing his car were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday and fired, authorities said.

The Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office announced the indictment and firing of Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould on Wednesday night, saying, in a news release, that it was “part of a painful but necessary process.”

Court records show Buen, who shot and killed Christian Glass, was indicted on charges of second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment. The grand jury indicted Gould on charges of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

Fifth Judicial District Chief Judge Paul Dunkelman sealed the indictment and issued arrest warrants Wednesday for Buen and Gould, according to a news release from the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Bond is set at $50,000 for Buen and $2,500 for Gould.

The two men are expected to have court dates set for mid-December, according to the DA’s office.

Glass’ parents, Simon and Sally Glass, “are relieved appropriate charges have been brought against some of those responsible for the murder of their son,” their attorney, Siddhartha H. Rathod, of the Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC firm, said in a statement.

“However, justice for Christian will require all those involved being held accountable,” Rathod said. “Christian’s death is a stain on every officer who was present and failed to prevent the escalation and unnecessary uses of force.”

Glass called 911 on the night of June 10 after crashing his car into an embankment near Silver Plume. Seven officers and deputies from five different law enforcement agencies responded, and spent an hour trying to convince Glass — who was experiencing delusions and paranoia — to exit his vehicle.

Glass had told a dispatcher that he had two knives in the car, and offered to throw them out the window, but was told not to. The deputies and officers ultimately decided to break a window to try to remove Glass, and he responded by picking up one of the knives.

Buen shot and killed Glass when he thrust the knife in the direction of an officer standing near the driver’s side backseat window that had been smashed out.

“The shooting death of Christian Glass continues to be a devastating event for Christian’s family, friends, the Clear Creek County community and the sheriff’s office,” Clear Creek County sheriff’s officials said in the Wednesday night news release.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum in October announced she would be presenting the shooting to a grand jury to determine whether criminal charges should be brought against any law enforcement officers.

Sheriff Rick Albers also asked the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an investigation of the shooting. That investigation is still underway, Clear Creek County sheriff’s officials said, but “preliminary findings show there were policy and procedural failures, and the initial news release about the shooting, based on the information available at the time of the incident, does not reflect the entirety of what happened on that terrible night.”

That news release said Glass “immediately became argumentative and uncooperative” and that he was shot after he tried to stab an officer.

Experts who reviewed body camera footage of the incident told The Denver Post that the responding law enforcement officers needlessly rushed the situation and failed to de-escalate matters while Glass suffered a mental health crisis.

“He trusted the police to come and help him,” Simon Glass said of his son in September. “Instead, they attacked and killed him.”

Denver Post staff writer Elise Schmelzer contributed to this report.

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