Jeffrey Musick shooting: DA rules cop justified in killing man armed with sword

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jeffrey musick mug shot most recent cropped.jpg
Big photos below.
On November 10, Jeffrey Musick, a 38-year-old with a history of mental illness and a slew of arrests (see a gallery of his mug shots below), was shot to death by Auraria Campus Police Officer Robert Burnett after allegedly attacking him with a sword. Today, the Denver District Attorney's Office has released a letter deeming this action justified. Continue to read it and see photos of the scene and Burnett's wounded hand.

According to the letter's "statement of facts" section, the incident took place on November 10, when the Auraria campus ROTC was staging a five kilometer walk/run in commemoration of Veteran's Day. At around 6 a.m. that morning, a cadet told law enforcement that he saw "a person in an all-black outfit" walk by the table where he was sitting. The cadet's account continues:

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The intersection of 9th and Walnut, near where the incident took place.
He had his face covered, and stared me down as he walked past the group of four cadets. I saw he seemed to have two ninja swords on him, and he was walking around briskly in an odd manner. His presence startled the other three cadets and myself, so as he walked around the other side of the Tivoli building, I asked the others if they had the campus emergency phone #. CDT [Cadet] Connell had it, so I instructed him to call & let them know the situation. Very shortly after, I saw several cop cars speed by with lights on, and then I heard 3 shots, I believe. I rushed over to see what happened in fear of cops, civilians or CDTs being injured, and I saw cop cars surrounding the intersection right by the Tivoli parking garage.
What prompted this response? Burnett told investigators that he was driving a marked police car when he received a report about a suspect in what was later described as a "homemade ninja outfit." As he approached the intersection of 9th and Walnut, he spotted the man, later identified as Musick, and dismounted from his vehicle.

"Police officer," Musick reportedly said. "I need to talk to you."

But what happened next didn't have anything to do with conversation, Burnett maintains.

Continue to read more about the Jeffrey Musick shooting. Warning: a photo of Officer Burnett's wounded hand is graphic.

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I knew Jeffrey nearly 20 years ago. He was a friend of mine, whom I had lost touch with when I moved out of town. Jeffrey gave me my first Led Zeppelin album back in the late 80's. We had some good times together in the brief time I knew him. I don't remember much of his family, but I know he didn't have a lot of money and things were tough on him at times. I feel like this could have been handled in a different way. It's a horrible tragedy for everyone involved. I appreciate the sentiment of those who see him as not a punchline, but a human being who had a troubled life. Rest In Peace, Jeffrey.


How very sad for all parties involved. Musick was a habitual criminal offender with a psychiatric illness that should have been in an mental institution. The police in most states can take people like Musick to an mental institution instead of jail. A 72 hour Psych Hold is placed on offending criminal patients and it is the judge's determination to continue stay of or to release offender. The criminal, judicial, and psychiatric authorities involved were well aware of his criminal record and medical diagnosis which was especially dangerous without medication. A judicial determination would/could/should have kept Musick out of society minimizing risk to self and others. It seems its just a matter of  fines, court costs, and see ya later. And if patients with such conditions do start taking their medications and are allowed the privilege of returning to society then it should be conditional and supervisory. The police in Alabama can place a person on supervised probation subject to search of home and property without notice for a year for a DUI offense. How is it that such laws like that get on the books and are enforced but when it comes to repeat mental offenders or child molesters or other chronic physical abusers they are allowed complete freedom until more damage is done? Because its a matter of fines, court costs and see ya later, don't forget your cash or credit card! It makes no sense at all, yet it sadly, infuriatingly does if one is aware of who the Puppet Master is and his thematic hidden agenda of promoting chaos while appearing benevolent directed  on society's stage. We all play a part in this production, we all have been cast yet what is unique is we can decide our part. Release with no follow up serves nor protects anyone. Erroneous judgments pave way for chaos. Uncaring doctors are accessories to crimes. RIP Musick, may you float free and happy above your chains of mental anguish.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

HipTip -- Don't bring a Ninja Sword to a Gun Fight ... unless you're living in an Ang Lee movie.


@JB33 Sorry to learn of your friends passing.

Did these cops even legitimately attempt to taze'

the young man before firing ?

Their badges enable them to murder w/o fear of

reprisal or accountability . The law does NOT apply to those w/ badges.

( See Patrick Sullivan ..... ) 

Had this occurred in Aurora, there would have been dozen of cops unloading their weapons w/ full disregard for the safety of the civilians shopping . This of course, followed by some kind ceremony honoring the officers for killing everyone before the suspect. We nearly had another James Holmes like, tragedy . If Musick had an additional pocket knife, that store would have been blown apart just as was done w/ the theater in Aurora


@DonkeyHotay I long for the day when I can read even one Westword story sans a DonkeyHotay comment. Attention Westword IT Dept: Ban this A-hole!! He's DESTROYING this otherwise excellent publication.Edit (5 minutes)


good point on the tazer gun approach! The James Holmes comment is unnecessary and not relevant though. unfortuantely u r right many in law enforcement believe and act as they are above the law, where is the accountability? the cops did not blow apart the theater, loose connections but at least your commmenting and have sentiment. take care. b safe.

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