Larimer County Sheriff’s corporal cleared in shooting death of armed suspect by Weld County DA

A Larimer County corporal who shot dead a man who fired at deputies was justified in his use of deadly force, according to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.

Douglas Weishaupl, 53, of Loveland, was shot on May 26 after a  vehicle pursuit that began in Larimer County ended in the area of County Road 38 and Interstate 25 Frontage Road near Mead.

On Tuesday, Weld District Attorney Michael Rourke issued a letter and report to Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith regarding the officer shooting. The 19th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) conducted an investigation, which was provided to the DA’s office. Based on the investigation and Colorado law, Rourke has determined that Corporal Justin Calkins was justified in using lethal force, firing his weapon, in the incident.

On the day of the shooting, the Larimer County Sheriff Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) attempted to contact and arrest Weishaupl, who was wanted on outstanding warrants, the decision letter said. Weishaupl was seen at a Safeway store in Loveland and was pursued in a high-speed chase. Weishaupl was a passenger in a car driven by Tyger Browder.

Browder told investigators that Weishaupl forced him, at gunpoint, to flee authorities. At one point, Weishaupl “fired in the direction of deputies,” the investigation found.

Ultimately, the vehicle pursuit came to an end in Larimer County near Mead, in the area of County Road 38 and Interstate 25 Frontage Road. Weishaupl got out of the car and fled toward a field where he was surrounded, the letter said.

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Weishaupl pointed a gun in the direction of officers and at himself. He fired a round into the ground. “Eventually, he got closer to law enforcement and raised the gun in the direction of officers,” the letter said.

Calkins fired one round, striking Weishaupl who fell to the ground. While down, Weishaupl reached for the gun and “Calkins fired another round to end the threat.”

Calkins “reasonably believed when he fired his weapon that he and other officers and deputies were in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury,” the letter said. “Based on the facts gathered during this investigation as summarized in the attached report and the legal analysis outlined above, I find that Corporal Calkins was justified in using lethal force against Weishaupl. The use of such force was reasonable based on Weishaupl’s threatened use of deadly physical force.”