Posted on: January 9, 2023

DA’s report finds Lafayette police officer legally justified during officer-involved shooting

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The investigation and legal analysis by the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office into the death of Ethan Huiras and the discharge of a firearm by Officer Jared Fender of the Lafayette Police Department has been completed. The District Attorney concluded that Officer Fender was legally justified in his use of physical force in response to the imminent risk of death or great bodily injury posed upon him. Additionally, an autopsy of the suspect determined the manner of death was suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At approximately 1:20am on November 8, 2022, Lafayette police officers responded to a Flock ALPR (automated license plate reader) notification that a stolen car was in the area of South Boulder Road and Dixon Ave.  Officers located the vehicle at a gas station and, after they arrived on scene, two suspects fled the station on foot. The male suspect ran back to the stolen vehicle and began firing a handgun at the officers striking Officer Fender in the leg. Shots were returned, and the suspect was found deceased in the vehicle. An autopsy of the suspect determined Huiras died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and the manner of death was suicide.

The investigation was conducted by the Critical Incident Team for the 20th Judicial District, also known as the Boulder County Investigation Team (“BCIT”).  This multi-agency team is designated to investigate use-of-force incidents in which any law enforcement officer used deadly, or potentially deadly, physical force against a person while acting under the color of official law enforcement duties.  This definition and team protocol are broader than that required by state law, which is limited to incidents involving the discharge of a firearm by a peace officer that results in injury or death.  The response to, and review of, this incident is an example of the broader definition and protocol that are used in Boulder County.

“While the loss of life is always a tragic situation,” said Lafayette Police Chief Rick Bashor, “we feel fortunate Officer Fender is alive and recuperating. His, and his on-scene partner’s courageous service to protect our community and their appropriate response to the situation is a testament to the department’s training and vigilant protocol.”  

The full press release and detailed report from the District Attorney’s office is available at .  

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