Jeffrey Musick shooting: DA rules cop justified in killing man armed with sword
The autopsy report on Musick notes that he had "a history of paranoid-type schizophrenia with visual hallucinations, audio hallucinations, and homicidal ideation; and non-compliance with medications. The decedent [has] been noted in the past to become psychotic when non-compliant with his medications."
Hence, a previous criminal history that includes arrests for menacing, carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest and second degree assault using what's described as "fluids" while in the custody of Sheridan Police. During his contacts with Denver police in 2011 and 2012, he was described using the following caution: "DRUG ABUSE, MENTALLY HANDICAPPED/DISTURBED/SUICIDAL."
Musick's ninja outfit.
Weighing all these factors, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey offered a conclusion that begins like so:
This tragic incident brings focus to two recurrent issues in use of force events, both of which often lead to public misperceptions. The first is the rapidity with which the events may unfold. The second is the lethality of edged weapons. Officer Burnett arrived at what he at first believed would be a situation where he would be called upon to warn someone about campus policy. Within moments, he was attacked by an adversary armed with a sword who was able to close the distance between them and injury him severely. Officer Burnett attempted to retreat and reason with Musick, without success. He then drew and fired his pistol. He stopped firing immediately when the threat ceased. The incident -- from the time Officer Burnett advised dispatch he was contacting a party to the time shots were fired -- took less time than it would take the average American reader to read this paragraph.As such, Morrissey determined that "based on a review of the totality of the facts developed in this investigation, we could not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was unreasonable for Officer Burnett to fire the shots that caused Musick's death. He only used deadly force when it was necessary 'to defend' against the imminent deadly threat posed by Musick and his actions were clearly justified under Colorado law. Therefore, no criminal charges are fileable against Officer Musick for his conduct in his incident."
One question not answered in the report: Why was someone with Musick's condition and past actions roaming the streets rather than receiving the sort of care that he appears to have so desperately needed?
Look below to see a collection of Musick mug shots assembled by 9News, followed by Morrissey's decision letter.
Continue for more Jeffrey Musick booking photos and the Denver DA's office decision letter.