Stop harassing Arapahoe High shooting first responder James Englert, sheriff tells media

james.englert.205x205.jpg
James Englert.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson announced his retirement the day before the shooting at Arapahoe High School. But rather than letting someone else run point, he took charge, communicating clearly and authoritatively in a manner that has earned him excellent reviews despite the tragic situation. But while he's gone out of the way to be accessible to the media, he's drawn a line when it comes to deputy and brave first responder James Englert, seen here -- and he blistered members of the press who didn't respect it.

The photo of Englert comes the website of the International Police Mountain Bike Association, which lists him as the organization's industry liaison. The mini-bio that accompanies the shot notes fifteen years in the public safety profession, with eight years of bike duty. Here's his description of his most memorable moment: "Another deputy and I were riding down some rocks, the other deputy fell on some rocks and severed 30 percent of his quad tendon."

Unfortunately, the scene he came upon early Friday afternoon as part of his responsibilities as school resource officer at Arapahoe High was considerably more horrifying. According to a Denver Post account, Englert told dispatchers, "The school is going on lockdown, and I don't know why," then charged into the building.

"There's smoke, north side of the school!" he yelled while running through the halls a moment later. "There's a fire in the library! Come to the forum! It's on the north side."

arapahoe.high.school.screen.capture.cbs4.19.jpg
Sheriff Grayson Robinson, right, with Littleton School District Superintendent Scott Murphy at a Friday press conference.
And then, an even more shocking discovery: "There is a student down in the athletic hall."

That student was Claire Davis, seventeen, who is listed as being in critical but stable condition and in a coma at this writing. Yet she might not have survived at all were it not for Englert's quick response -- one of many lessons learned from the Columbine massacre in 1999.

Given Englert's role, plenty of news outlets wanted to speak with him. However, Robinson declined to make him available for comment owing to the ongoing investigation -- at least not yet.

A number of reporters didn't feel like waiting, thought, tracking down Englert at his home. But instead of getting a scoop, they received an earful from Robinson. In a strongly worded release sent to the media as a whole, as opposed to specific outlets, Robinson described the effort as a violation of Englert's privacy rights, not to mention being "offensive." And that was before Robinson busted out the caps-lock key.

When Robinson says something, he means it. Here's his complete statement regarding Englert:

During the press briefing related to the tragic Arapahoe High School shooting conducted on December 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM, I clearly advised that Deputy Sheriff James Englert (Arapahoe High School Resource Officer) was not available for interview and would not be made available in the immediate future. My decision to not make the deputy available for interview was based upon his direct and critical involvement in the ongoing investigation, as well as the fact that his involvement in the critical incident required that his privacy be respected.

Earlier today, representatives of the Denver media contacted the Deputy at his private residence, while the Deputy was not on duty and in his private capacity. The effort to contact the Deputy is in direct conflict with my specific request. In my opinion, the effort to contact the Deputy is offensive and violates his right to privacy.

Deputy James Englert is not available for interview and does not wish to be contacted by representatives of the media. As I have advised, at some point in time the Deputy may be available for an interview. NOW IS NOT THE TIME.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Arapahoe High School shooting: Lessons from Columbine."

My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

So now the when the media contacts law enforcement it's "harassment." That's funny. I generally consider it harassment when they contact me.

Mozart99
Mozart99

He is a public employee, and he was acting in a public situation. The obvious answer here was for his boss, the sheriff, to make him available to all the press at once. Then they could tell the media to leave him alone.

Laura Chrisler-Matheney
Laura Chrisler-Matheney

I like how no one us questioning how the teacher ran? Did he warn anyone, make a phone call? Anything? What's the story with that?

Michael Crossman
Michael Crossman

The last time I heard BS like this it was from Sandy Hook & they were telling people NOT to talk about the 2 people in the woods dressed EXACTLY like the shooter!

SteadyPofiling
SteadyPofiling

Maybe the reason for this silence is because they do not want to report that an armed security person (good guy) stopped a bad guy with a gun and triggered his suicide. The propaganda machine is alive and well here in colorado.

Paul Young
Paul Young

Chip Thomas Jeannie Johnson Young brother went to Arapahoe High as it was a mile from their house.

Eric Mohn
Eric Mohn

Assholes. Good job Sheriff. Shoulda arrested them for invasion of privacy, trespassing, etc. Sent a message to the Vultures.

Paul Magor
Paul Magor

There's a guy running for Sheriff; Just as good if not better than Sheriff Robinson.

Mike Swankhouse
Mike Swankhouse

I cannot stand the ignorant comments by the people in that article. It's pissing me off quickly. The gun runs straight toward danger in a large sprawling school and people accuse them of a cover up and corruption. SIGH.

Timothy Wirtjes
Timothy Wirtjes

Too bad Robinson is retiring, seems like a good guy!

Paul Magor
Paul Magor

Good work Sheriff! Unfortunately, the press does not think about others privacy, only their need to blab to others, no matter what the cost.

RustyShackleford
RustyShackleford

Usually, when you see a public official being withheld from the media, it almost always indicates a coverup, with the delay being used to make sure everyone gets their story straight.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

If these tragedies happen WITH armed police officers present at schools, the only solution is to convert private prisons into schools, with one student per solitary confinement cell, after a full body cavity search.





..Matt...
..Matt...

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@SteadyPofiling ... so why didn't YOU rush into action to protect these children, eh Rambo?


Too busy polishing your precious pistols for your next Teatard circle jerk?



BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@RustyShackleford  "First of all, why do people believe conspiracy theories?

There are number of factors, but probably one of the most important ones in this instance is that, paradoxically, it gives people a sense of control. People hate randomness, they dread the sort of random occurrences that can destroy their lives, so as a mechanism against that dread, it turns out that it’s much easier to believe in a conspiracy. Then you have someone to blame, it’s not just randomness.

What are the psychological forces at play in conspiracy thinking?

Basically what’s happening in any conspiracy theory is that people have a need or a motivation to believe in this theory, and it’s psychologically different from evidence-based thinking. A conspiracy theory is immune to evidence, and that can pretty well serve as the definition of one. If you reject evidence, or reinterpret the evidence to be confirmation of your theory, or you ignore mountains of evidence to focus on just one thing, you’re probably a conspiracy theorist. We call that a self-sealing nature of reasoning."


http://www.alternet.org/belief/why-people-believe-conspiracy-theories?page=0%2C1&paging=off

SteadyPofiling
SteadyPofiling

@DonkeyHotay Actually, the reason these psychos pick schools for these shootings is that they know they have large groups of mentally ill liberals making sure that your children are un-protected sitting ducks there. Cowards love 'Gun-Free-Zones'........They are the perfect places to execute their attacks with IMPUNITY. Just like the gun control advocates want. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@SteadyPofiling  "We have more than enough parents who would be happy to volunteer to walk the school grounds during the day carrying a concealed weapon ..."


You really are a daft dipshit.


And when one of those amateur armed Rambos goes beserk themselves, then what? ... because parents never shoot and kill children, eh numbnuts?


And who the fuck is "we" ?? ... you and the voices in your head?


How much MORE in TAXES are YOU willing to pay for 100s of THOUSANDS of armed guards -- guards for EACH and EVERY CLASSROOM, each and every entrance and exit, each and every bus, each and every section of bleachers at every athletic event?


There are MASS MURDERS at MILITARY BASES!! ... it doesn't get any more ARMED and "protected" than that, jackass. Only a pig-ignorant fuckwit like you would propose the futility of turning every school in the U$A into a military base.


cogitoergosum186
cogitoergosum186

@BackOffImStarving @RustyShackleford my father was a reporter for a famous newspaper. He never denies conspiracies. And the first rule of anyone in the CIA is ALWAYS rule OUT a conspiracy... people who aren't trained and ARE brainwashed think that conspiracies DONT happen.... 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@SteadyPofiling <== nutjob thinks arming teenagers is a good idea.


Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...