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Deputy shoots suspect after rifle "accidentally" fires three times, faces no charges

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Photos, video and more below.
Yesterday, we documented four recent officer-involved shootings in the metro area. Then, a few hours after the post was published, the 17th Judicial District DA's office released a decision letter regarding a fifth -- a May incident during which Joe Manuel Flores III, seen here, was hit in the leg following a three-bullet burst from a deputy's rifle.

The DA's conclusion? No charges will be filed against the deputy because the shots were deemed accidental. See photos, a video, the letter and details below.

On May 15, according to the letter, sent by district attorney Dave Young to Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr, a magistrate granted a no-knock search warrant for a house at 8510 Corona Street in Thornton.

The resident of the place was Flores, who is said to have been an active member of "Galiant Knights Insane" (often referred to in the press as "Gallant Knights Insane"), referred to as "a violent, Denver-based criminal enterprise involved in homicides, robbery, weapons, narcotic trafficking and other gang-related criminal activity." He reportedly has a record of arrests in numerous communities throughout the Denver area.

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The house at 8510 Corona Street in Thornton.
Flores, who allegedly bought half a kilo of powder cocaine every week and resold it as crack, was said to have been "very paranoid that law enforcement will raid his house" -- so much so that a confidential informant told officers he kept his drugs in a bucket in the bathroom, near a gallon of water, so they could be immediately flushed if the cops came knocking.

At the time, Flores was on a $250,000 bond pending sentencing for a drive-by shooting in 2012. He was considered armed, dangerous and a flight risk.

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Sheriff Doug Darr.
In an effort to catch Flores unaware, members of the Adams County Sheriff's Office SWAT team gathered early on May 17 to prepare for an assault that got underway at 7:19 a.m. with the use of a flash-bang device. As officers burst into the home, they saw what they believed to be Flores racing from a bedroom to the bathroom holding something in his hands that he tried to flush as Deputy Jeff Stovall moved in.

Stovall managed to take Flores to the floor, the narrative maintains, with both him and a cohort, Seargeant Michael McKinney, giving him verbal commands while trying to pin his arms behind his back. But Flores resisted, and during the subsequent struggle, Stovall's Colt M4 Commando M16 rifle went off, with a bullet ripping into the suspect's thigh.

After Flores was cuffed and transported to Denver Health (he was released the next day), officers searched the home and found plenty of interesting items, including three plastic bags that appeared to have been filled with cocaine, plus a handgun loaded with nine live rounds of hollow-point ammo and $2,300 in cash. But questions of his guilt or innocence are secondary in the letter to the matter of how Deputy Stovall's rifle went off.

Continue for more about the decision not to file charges in the shooting of Joe Manuel Flores III, including a video, a document and more.


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20 comments
RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Remove these pigs from our midst.

David Spohn
David Spohn

Right...his gun was faulty I'm sure....lol some justice system we have

Travis Gann
Travis Gann

even if he did get in "trouble" it'd be a paid vacation till the hubbub dies down and then straight back to work without even the slap on the wrist

Travis Gann
Travis Gann

hes a cop. why should the law apply to him?

Blayne McMillan
Blayne McMillan

but i thought justice was blind?! you mean our justice system isn't what they paint it as?

SociopathsAmongUs
SociopathsAmongUs

Cool. Now the sociopath's we hire for law enforcement can just blow your kids away and say it was an 'accident'....Sounds like they have found a new 'policy' to adopt and train with.....

Ryan Davis
Ryan Davis

Is that the right decision? Are you high? Of course not. We keep forgetting that so many cops are just as vile as any other gang.

Emm Deeze
Emm Deeze

If his finger wasn't on the trigger and an article of clothing or something caused the rifle to discharge, then he should not be charged. However, he should be disciplined for not having his firearm on safety as I would assume protocol states when you go hands on with a suspect.

Steve At Work
Steve At Work

I would expect nothing different from this state's supposed "justice" system.

Samuel Gault
Samuel Gault

I think the real question here is after reading what this guy had done and all the known criminal activity he was a part of, why was he even at home in the first place? Calling this guy a 'civilian' is kind. He's a known violent gang member, child abuser and drug dealer. He's lucky to still be alive.

Tylr Tre
Tylr Tre

"Fuck the po po hoe" -Medea

Mike Hymbaugh
Mike Hymbaugh

Officers in Colorado sure seem to have very poor control over their guns.

James Gold
James Gold

Would a civilian face charges for "accidentally" shooting someone three times? If the answer is yes, then the cop should also face charges.

Blayne McMillan
Blayne McMillan

Here's a better question: what would happen if a civilian accidentally shot a cop thrice?

Meow.yates
Meow.yates

@Mary Manning Schumacher Several rifles have a "three round burst" setting, including some variants of the M16/ M4 rifle. This was created due to the inaccuracy of fully automatic fire, creating a compromise between rapid fire, and accuracy

avman88
avman88

@Mike Hymbaugh And yet the government is cracking down on individuals gun rights. Seems to me they need to look at the cops first and take away their gun rights.

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