LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — A former police officer who reviewed police body camera in a Loveland teen’s shooting said he does not think the officer will be charged or held liable in any civil action.
James Allbee served in Colorado law enforcement and is a private investigator. He reviewed body camera video released Wednesday that shows the shooting of a Loveland teen battling a mental breakdown.
Grandmother calls for help over teen’s mental health crisis
Loveland police responded to a home earlier this month after the teen’s grandmother called for help as he suffered a mental crisis. The family said Wednesday that the teen, Alex Domina, is still hospitalized in critical condition and has been through five surgeries.
Alex’s grandmother and guardian, Judy Domina, called 911 after he became upset she asked him to do chores, she told a dispatcher in a 911 call also released Wednesday.
“He’s big … He’s 244 pounds,” Judy Domina can be heard saying on 911 call audio. “But please, please handle him with care. He – it’s mental health.”
The agitated 19-year-old was accused of damaging property and eventually got ahold of a knife as police responded. At some point, Alex can be heard on body camera video objecting to being taken away — is grandmother told the dispatcher he had been institutionalized before and needed to be committed again.
“I’m not taking you anywhere, dude,” Loveland Officer Eddie Luzon can be heard telling Alex once he arrived.
As the video continues, a knife can be seen in Alex’s hand. He is also seen advancing toward the officer.
Police expert reviews the video: at some point, inaction is not an option
“I guess [the officer] could have backed away, but then if you start backing away … then you end up losing your vantage point,” Allbee said.
Allbee is a 10-year veteran of Colorado law enforcement agencies and a current private investigator with Metro Intelligence Agency.
“He’s a large kid,” Allbee said. “He’s got some strength behind him.”
Allbee said that within roughly 21 feet of distance from a weapon like a knife, an officer reaches a point where inaction is not an option.
“That time distance is almost too much for our minds to be able to comprehend and to be able to physically act,” he said.
Retreating, Allbee said, could lead to more danger to the officer and the grandmother.
Allbee said he doesn’t see how the officer could be charged criminally or be held responsible civilly. The Domina family has hired a defense attorney, who said the tragic outcome highlights the need for first responders with mental health training for knife calls.
The shooting is part of a multi-agency investigation that is ongoing.
FOX31 has made requests to speak with the Domina family.