IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — Community members gathered and called for change in memory of Christian Glass, the man who had called 911 for help before a deputy ultimately shot and killed him.
Body camera video was released last week when the 22-year-old’s parents came forward about their son’s killing, demanding accountability. They joined community members in Idaho Springs on Tuesday night for a candlelit memorial in honor of their son.
“As a resident, I ask you: How are we supposed to feel safe calling 911?” said Clear Creek County resident Lisa Stamm, who organized the event. “Would you want these officers dealing with your teenage daughter or son dealing with a mental health crisis?”
Those who spoke at the event are pledging to speak out in order to hold officials in the county accountable. The deputy who fired the gun was back on patrol within days.
“We hope to give Christian Glass a voice since he is deceased,” Stamm said. “We want to let our elected officials know that this is not OK, that we will not stand for it. They are elected and just like we got them in there, we can get them out too. We’re looking into a possible recall.”
At the gathering, Glass’ family heard community members’ pleas and condolences. His mother, Sally, was moved to tears and took a moment to speak after one of two moments of silence for her son.
“I was just remembering him as a boy, being a happy kid. Just full of life. And we’re all just devastated it got extinguished so young by this devastating tragedy,” she said. “It shouldn’t have happened. But it did and we have to learn to live with our loss. And I just think pray, pray, that it doesn’t — you know, changes will happen and it doesn’t happen to somebody else. Because we can’t bring him back. But maybe changes will happen that someone else doesn’t have to lose their life.”
What happened before the Christian Glass shooting
Glass, of Boulder, was shot and killed by a Clear Creek Sheriff’s deputy in Silver Plume. On that night in June, he had crashed his car into an embankment and called 911 for help.
When Glass called 911, he said he needed help and was scared, according to the recorded call. The dispatcher asked if he had any weapons. He said he had two knives and a hammer and said he would throw them out of the vehicle when law enforcement arrived.
When deputies arrived, he refused to get out of the vehicle and showed signs of paranoia, the body camera video shows. Deputies told him not to throw his weapons out.
The confrontation lasted more than an hour. At one point, a trooper with Colorado State Patrol asked deputies why they were staying there if he was not wanted for a crime.
Law enforcement would eventually bust out a window, shoot him with bean bags six times, use a Taser against him twice, and, finally, a deputy — standing on the hood of the car — shoots Glass six times through the windshield because he said he felt Glass might stab an officer reaching through a rear window.
Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum said she is reviewing the case. She could seek a grand jury indictment and said she’s been in touch with three federal agencies: the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.