Mom of unarmed teen killed by deputy: ‘Why did you have to use deadly force?’

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ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — The mother of a teenager shot and killed by an Adams County sheriff’s deputy said her son did not have to die. The unarmed 19-year-old was killed Thursday morning outside an apartment building south of Thornton in the 8700 block of Galen Court.

A multiagency taskforce is working to collect evidence for prosecutors to review. Prosecutors will be responsible for determining if the shooting of Kyler Grabbingbear was justified under Colorado law. But, regardless of legality, the teen’s mom said the shooting was unnecessary.

“I can’t believe he’s gone,” Grabbingbear’s mom, Andrea Feltman, said. “He was my everything. He was my best friend.”

Feltman believes the deputy who killed her son went too far. Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh said that deputy was responding to an unrelated wellbeing call around 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

The deputy heard a disturbance coming from inside a nearby apartment, according to McIntosh. Loved ones said Grabbingbear was inside an apartment where his girlfriend’s family lives.

“Kyler was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Feltman said.

McIntosh said his deputy was waiting for backup when a call from the apartment came into 911. Around the same time, McIntosh said Kyler walked outside.

“He just happened to walk outside and see the deputy and took off,” Feltman explained.

Witnesses said a chase quickly turned into a physical back-and-forth between the teen and the deputy. The fight eventually led to gunfire, according to witnesses.

“Why didn’t that officer go about doing things a different way,” Feltman asked. “Why did you have to use deadly force?”

McIntosh had not released the deputy’s name as of late Sunday. The deputy was taken to a hospital with injuries to his neck and head, according to McIntosh. With no evidence of the teen having a weapon, it’s unclear what may have caused the deputy’s injuries.

The deputy was released from the hospital on Thursday and is expected to be interviewed by investigators on Monday or Tuesday, according to a sheriff’s spokesperson.

A candle light vigil for Grabbingbear, organized by loved ones, is scheduled for Monday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. outside the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in Brighton. A second vigil is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday at the scene of the shooting.

The family has created a GoFundMe page to help pay funeral expenses.

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