CBI releases names of MVPD officers involved in fatal shooting
MONTE VISTA — Details of the March 21 officer-involved shooting of an 18-year-old man in Monte Vista were released by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) late Wednesday night, March 29. The officers have been identified as Monte Vista Police Department Sgt. Michael Martinez and Cpl. David Pino. Both are veteran officers with the department.
Lisa Kohlbrenner, CBI's Public Information Officer, says the officers' names are being released "in an effort to be transparent."
The identity of the 18-year-old man who was fatally shot has not yet been made public.
According to the statement, at 12:35 p.m. Tuesday, the regional dispatch center received a call from 1007 S. Broadway St. in Monte Vista. Three minutes later, dispatch received a second 911 call from another person who was located inside the house, stating that "a man had two knives."
That information was relayed to Martinez and Pino as they approached the residence. The officers responded immediately to the scene.
Shortly after Martinez and Pino arrived at the residence's front door, a man jumped from a front window and ran at both officers, "swinging both knives" and "barely missing the officers."
According to CBI's statement, Cpl. Pino deployed his taser and Sgt. Martinez fired his handgun. While he was retreating backward from the attack, Pino fell to the ground and then fired his handgun.
CBI's statement does not indicate how many shots were fired by either officer but states that the man was declared deceased at the scene.
According to CBI, Cpl. Pino sustained minor injuries due to his fall, but no other community members were injured during the incident.
CBI released a photo on March 21, reportedly captured, from body camera footage from one of the officers. It showed a person wielding a large knife and another object approaching Monte Vista officers with some type of cloth hood over their head. One officer deployed a taser which was reportedly ineffective while the second officer was shown with a handgun.
The fatally shot man's identity will be released by Stephen Hunzeker, Rio Grande County Coroner. In response to a request from the Valley Courier last Friday, Hunzeker said the release was pending notification of his next of kin. A follow-up request to the coroner's office made on Wednesday went unanswered.
Both officers remain on administrative leave, per MVPD policy, and no other information will be released at this time as this remains an ongoing investigation. Once CBI's investigation has been completed, it will be presented to 12th Judicial District Attorney Anne Kelly for review.
"We understand that events like these trigger many emotions from the community," CBI's statement reads. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family, the officers directly involved, and all of those impacted by this event."