AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – A man who suffered a gunshot wound to the behind in 2019 is suing the City of Aurora and the officer who shot him, saying they violated his constitutional rights.
Andrew Huff “has suffered severe, permanent, life-altering injuries and damages, including without limitation permanent physical injuries and related complications, permanent physical impairment and/or disfigurement, severe emotional distress, ongoing pain and suffering mental anguish, loss of consortium, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and significant loss of quality of life,” the federal lawsuit said.
A police officer shot Huff through the front window of his living room in October 2019 as he remained inside his home, armed with a gun.
“In order to protect himself from what he reasonably believed to be an imminent home invasion and attack on himself and his family, Mr. Huff retrieved a shotgun that he kept in his bedroom and came back downstairs to the front living room,” said the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Huff by attorneys Birk Baumgartner and Clifford Beem.
The lawsuit claimed Huff never pointed the gun at anyone, and that he armed himself because he feared he was in danger and didn’t know it was a group of police officers approaching the front of his home to investigate an earlier disturbance.
“Through our investigation, we are able to say with a pretty high degree of certainty that Mr. Huff knew it was the police who were at the residence at the time that he went and got that long gun,” then-APD Deputy Chief Paul O’Keefe said in October 2019.
Huff was initially charged with a crime, but the charges were later dismissed.
Meanwhile, the district attorney and the police department cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.
“On July 1, 2020 it was determined the involved officer acted in compliance with policy and training reference the OIS,” Crystal McCoy, a former APD spokesperson, told the Problem Solvers in the summer.
According to a letter issued by the Office of the District Attorney in the 18th Judicial District, “no criminal charges are warranted” against the officer.
“As to the degree of force used, the officer used the only degree of force that was available to him. Given Andrew Huff was armed with a deadly weapon and quickly moved to a location in the home where officers could no longer see him, officer Ord could not stop the use of the rifle by any other means,” the letter, signed in 2020, by Amy Ferrin, then-chief deputy district attorney, said.
According to Aurora Police, the involved officer resigned in June 2021.
“APD reports don’t adequately show that Mr. Huff was cooperating 100% with the Aurora police officers,” Birk Baumgartner, Huff’s attorney said.
Two years ago, Huff made the same argument his attorneys are making today.
“It’s legal for me to have a gun in my house to protect my family,” Huff told FOX31 in October, 2019.
Huff’s attorneys are calling this the first major lawsuit against the department since a scathing report from the state attorney general’s office, which in part, accuses the APD of exercising a pattern of excessive force.
“What we have alleged in our complaint certainly borrows from that report and is strengthened by that report,” Baumgartner said.
FOX31 reached out to the City of Aurora for comment, a spokesperson said the city has yet to be served.