- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2016

BAILEY, Colo. (AP) - A Colorado sheriff said Thursday he has disciplined two officers following a shootout in which a deputy was killed and two others were injured while trying to evict a man from his home.

Undersheriff Monte Gore and Sgt. Welles Tonjes - the disciplined officers - were not involved in the planning or execution of the long-delayed Feb. 24 eviction but were punished for incidents that happened in the aftermath, Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener said.

Wegener told KCNC-TV (https://cbsloc.al/1UBWkkQ) that Gore, second-in-command at the small department, is on leave due to concerns over the way he notified the father of Cpl. Nate Carrigan, who was killed in the attack, and other “administrative things that were done incorrectly.”

Tonjes resigned before being demoted. Wegener said, noting the demotion was “related to the handling of how the deputies responded.”

Authorities have said Martin Wirth, 58, killed Carrigan and shot two other officers at his foreclosed mountain home near Bailey, about 45 miles west of Denver.

Eight officers, including Wegener, went to the serve the eviction notice that was classified as high-risk after Wirth recently threatened law enforcement, authorities said. Wegener, however, said officers did not expect the eviction to erupt in violence.

Wirth appeared on the deck of his home when the officers arrived then went back inside. The sheriff’s office said officers followed him in, and Wirth shot at them before they returned fire, killing Wirth.

Tonjes told KCNC after the disciplinary action was disclosed that he had talked to Carrigan by phone before the eviction.

Carrigan “was concerned about this. We all were,” Tonjes told the station. He said he counseled Carrigan not to “come on like stormtroopers” because it was a civil action being done without a search warrant.

Carrigan was upset by the conversation, Tonjes said.

Wirth had been acquitted of killing a man more than 20 years ago.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide