Man killed by Rifle Police pointed gun at himself then ran off | AspenTimes.com

Man killed by Rifle Police pointed gun at himself then ran off

Thomas Phippen
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
A still image from a video of the Aug. 5 police officer-involved shooting of Allan George in Rifle that was provided to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.
Provided

Before being shot in the back by Rifle Police officers, Allan George pointed a gun at his chest and appeared to try jumping off a bridge into the Colorado River, a second video obtained by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent shows.

George, 57, had a handgun in his right pocket as he was running from police, but his hands were not restrained at the time he was shot, the video shows.

Based on a different cellphone video shot from a more distant vantage point, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent previously reported that it appeared George’s arms may have been restrained when he was shot.

Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein identified the officers involved in the shooting as D. Ryan, hired in 2005, and S. McNeal, also a patrol officer, who was hired in 2018. Klein would not provide first names.

Both officers are still on paid administrative leave after the shooting.

Video shows what happened before shooting.

A witness to the incident, who wishes to remain anonymous, took more than five minutes of video on a cell phone from the bridge and provided it to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

The Glenwood Springs Post independent is not publishing the complete video due to the graphic nature of the incident.

Police were attempting to arrest George on charges of sexual exploitation of a child, a felony, for allegedly possessing pornographic images of children on his phone.

The video does not show the first interaction between George and the police officers. At the start of the video, George is seen standing on the outside of the guardrail on the upstream side of the Highway 13 bridge over the Colorado River.

For more than a minute, he held a gun pointed at his chest as two officers, a male and a female, stand near a police vehicle with guns drawn.

The camera cuts away from George at some points, but it does not appear that George ever pointed the gun at the Rifle police officers or at the cars passing by on the bridge during the video.

Traffic noise makes it difficult to understand everything George and the officers say in the video. The officers appeared to be trying to talk George into putting the gun down and turning around.

George eventually lowers the gun and puts it into his right front pocket, then turns to face the river. On several occasions, he crouches and appears poised to jump.

At one point, the male officer makes a statement that sounds like, “They’re going to miss you.”

“No s—. Even if I’m alive they’re going to miss me,” George said, according to the video.

After several minutes facing the river, George crosses the guardrail onto the bridge, and begins jogging north on the bridge toward downtown Rifle.

As George is running, the female officer is heard yelling “stop” twice, and the male officer says something unintelligible.

Two gunshots are heard, and George falls forward to the pavement and rolls slightly onto his left side.

At no point were George’s hands bound in the video.

When officers approach George where he fell, the male officer reaches into the right pocket and removes the gun, placing it several feet away.

According to Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire, George was pronounced dead at the scene. The autopsy conducted in Garfield County confirmed that George died of two gunshot wounds through the chest.

The 9th Judicial District Critical Incident Team is conducting an investigation into the shooting, and prosecutors will decide whether to charge the officers involved when the investigation is complete.

District Attorney Jeff Cheney said the investigators may deliver their findings to prosecutors within a couple of weeks.

“I do not pressure investigators to hurry up an investigation or give a timeline for a completion,” Cheney said. “I have absolute confidence in the investigators involved and have no reason to doubt that each one is working diligently as possible to finalize the investigation from their perspective.”


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