Mesa County DA: Actions Taken Were Justified
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger releases his findings in connection to the death of Shawn Payne, 36, this past July, in which Payne fled from authorities and got into a shoot-out.
Hautzinger says a picture of Payne was one of many that spoke volumes as to what happened on July 10, showing Payne pointing a firearm toward authorities.
The DA said all of the actions taken by law enforcement were appropriate, reasonable, and justified.
Payne was accused of attempted sexual assault on a woman in Lakewood the night before the shooting. The next morning authorities spotted him at a Grand Junction Inn, leading to a police pursuit.
Payne led law enforcement on a chase down Interstate 70, that ended near the Utah border when he crashed his truck.
After several attempts by authorities to persuade him to surrender, Payne finally lunged out of the rear window of the truck, and pointed what appeared to be a black handgun.
At that point, officers opened fire and fatally shot him.
Hautzinger added in his report that there was nothing criminal about the actions taken by any of the officers involved, and they did everything they could to avoid having the situation end in a fatality.