Officer not responsible for death in shooting

A report from the Larimer County’s Coroner determined the cause of death of James D. Smith III to be suicide as opposed to the alleged story that a deputy had shot and killed him.

Police responded to a call of a male overdosing and needing medical attention at the 100-block of Guardian Peak Drive in Glacier View. While the police were en route, the female caller reported that the man had left the residence and was armed with a handgun.


The female had locked herself in the residence when police arrived. Mr. Smith had returned and was trying to break into the home, signaling to the officers that the female inside was in imminent danger. Mr. Smith then raised the handgun and fired one shot, which prompted one of the deputies to fire a shot in response. It turns out that Mr. Smith had fired the shot into his own head, which was later determined to be the only gunshot wound to the victim’s body. The female was rescued by deputies and was found unharmed.

The deputy’s name who fired the shot will be released later this week, but he was placed on administrative leave which is standard protocol for an officer-involved shooting pending the conclusion of an internal review. The District Attorney is also set to conduct a use of force review.