Officials in Colorado announced Monday that no criminal charges will be filed against an officer who reportedly shot and killed a 73-year-old man who fatally shot a home intruder as he attacked his young grandson.
Per KUSA, the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office determined that Aurora police officer Drew Limbaugh’s fatal shooting of Richard “Gary” Black Jr. was justified. The District Attorney’s Office found that Black was walking with a handgun and flashlight and failed to comply with officers’ commands before he was shot and killed.
Monday’s report stated that responding officers heard gunshots before they entered the Aurora home. The gunshots were reportedly fired by Black, who fatally struck a naked home intruder who was attacking his son and 11-year-old grandson in the bathroom.
In the days following the shooting, Black’s family revealed that the 73-year-old was hard of hearing. As The Denver Post previously reported, family attorney Siddhartha Rathod said the suspect was trying to drown Black’s grandson in the bathtub.
The prosecutor’s report corroborates this account, stating that an officer was escorting the child out of the home when he turned to Black lying on the floor and said, “That’s my grandpa. He saved me.” The child would go on to tell police that the suspect, later identified as Dajon Harper, 26, broke into the home, pulled him into the shower, and tried to rape and drown him before Black intervened, according to KUSA.
The Post noted that Black had a concealed weapons permit. The officer who shot him had just returned to duty two weeks earlier after fatally shooting a man on June 27; he was also cleared in that case, the newspaper wrote.
The District Attorney’s announcement comes the same day as Aurora police released a 4-minute video showing the July 30 shooting. In it, officers can be seen rushing to the door of Black’s home and yelling to “drop the gun” before Limbaugh fires multiple shots, killing the Vietnam veteran.
According to The Post, Aurora police Chief Nick Metz said the body cam footage was released “in consult” with Black’s family and that they’re the department is conducting an internal investigation.
He said Monday evening, “This was a heartbreaking and tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Mr. Black’s family and those involved.”
***WARNING: The video below shows a fatal officer-involved shooting. Viewer discretion is advised.***
[Featured image: Richard Black/KMGH]