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Police killing of Raymond Garcia justified despite 17 shots fired, 7 hits, DA says

raymond.garcia.mug.shot.565x300.jpg
A cropped version of Raymond Garcia's mug shot. More photos and the complete decision letter below.
Last month, we reported about the police killing of a "customer" during a prostitution sting in Greeley.

Now, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck has released a letter about the incident in which he details why he feels the shooting of the man, 31-year-old Raymond Garcia, was justified. The document, on view below, reveals that Garcia was drawing a weapon and on drugs when cops shot seventeen bullets in his direction, striking him seven times.

On May 21, the letter notes, members of the Greeley Police Department conducted a sting operation in room 107 at the Comfort Inn, 2467 29th Street in Greeley.

The concept called for the posting of online ads supposedly from prostitutes seeking customers, complete with a phone number connecting to undercover detectives. Once initial contact was made, potential customers were texted info about the time and place to rendezvous.

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The Comfort Inn where the sting operation took place, as seen in a Google Maps screen capture.
Room 107 was wired with audio and video devices intended to record the interactions between suspects and a female GPD officer posing as a prostitute. Meanwhile, other law enforcers waited in an adjoining room, number 109. Once the customer provided money for sex, the report says the faux-prostitute would say she needed to "freshen up" and step into the bathroom, at which point four other cops, all wearing uniforms, would enter the room and make an arrest.

The letter notes that an officer assigned to take the suspect into custody would enter the room "with no weapon in [his] hands." He'd be followed by a cop with a Taser at the ready should the suspect resist. The next cop wouldn't be holding either a gun or a Taser -- but the last, tasked with providing cover, would have a firearm out and ready to go should the situation go south.

This approach worked four times that day without a problem, the letter maintains. But then, Garcia showed up.

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A photo from Raymond Garcia's Facebook page.
According to the decision letter, Garcia had at least three warrants in his name at the time -- information discovered after the incident went down. One of the warrants was for failing to appear in a protection-order-violation case. Another involved a failure to appear for a motions hearing prompted by charges of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, attempt to influence a public servant and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. And the third, out of Boulder County, accused Garcia of failing to appear at a status conference related to an alleged violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.

At about 5:30 p.m. on the 21st, surveillance cameras watched as Garcia was dropped off at the Comfort Inn. He headed to room 107, carrying what's described as "a black laptop carrying case."

Once he entered the room, Garcia is said to have been concerned the woman before him was a cop. But over the course of fifteen minutes, she apparently convinced him otherwise. He's quoted as mentioning the "use of controlled substances" he'd brought along with him and allegedly offered to sell some of them to the woman after they'd finished having sex.

Finally, at about 5:46 p.m., the decision letter says Garcia produced a $100 bill -- the price upon which he and the undercover officer had agreed. She reacted by excusing herself and heading to the bathroom, at which point her fellow officers entered the room.

Continue for more about the Raymond Garcia shooting, including additional photos and the complete decision letter.


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51 comments
zandraiii
zandraiii

Sylvia Chapman should have raised something other than a hooker using, drug fiend, meth addict, drug dealer if she wanted him to have a long and successful life. Looks like both she and her sonny boy failed miserably.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

If you don't let them kill without consequence, how will we get the "best" recruits?

A dead body and a victimless crime.....what have we become?

Jordan Kahan
Jordan Kahan

The Comfort Inn: So comfortable, you'll want to stay for eternity.

Sarah Rebekah Forster
Sarah Rebekah Forster

You could even be a customer, just don't pull a weapon on DPD. Common sense isn't common.

Mike Carr
Mike Carr

Was he breaking the law? Yes... Therefore deserving of the punishment

Cynthia Mendez
Cynthia Mendez

That dude's a moron. What do expect from a weed smoking dirty liberal hippie?

Cynthia Mendez
Cynthia Mendez

What does her weight have to do with this story? Show some intellect fool! Three officers all shooting at the same time? Yep, seventeen rounds seems legit.

Chad Kay
Chad Kay

Pull a gun on a police officer and thats usually what happens, the police are there to enforce laws the public voted on, so blame the general public for making prostitution illegal

Todd Thornton
Todd Thornton

Poor idiot didn't even get laid before filled with more then justified bullets! Thank god then killed the piece of s$&t and saved us tax payers money!

Jené Hammond
Jené Hammond

That's awesome... Your brilliant aren't you? Apparently you didn't pay attention to my profile pic...lol I'd watch who you call fatty... Pretty sure I'm more fit then you...lol. So mature calling names huh? You look like an idiot with comments like that, little guy....

Bradford Ashington
Bradford Ashington

Skank bitches like her are actually worse than the "thug" depicted in the article.

Bradford Ashington
Bradford Ashington

too bad none of them went down like one of their Lakewood counterparts a couple of years ago

Bradford Ashington
Bradford Ashington

let's just hope you're not walking in as a possible "customer," buddy

Bradford Ashington
Bradford Ashington

Now...let's transplant this figure onto the recent Red Rocks incident...now, instead of said incident occurring in parking lot, it took place near or even amongst the concert-going crowd in the venue. with the cops firing indiscriminately at a fleeing suspect, you'd expect at least several dozen innocent casualties (including death) as a result of idiotic cops.

Suni Daze
Suni Daze

yeah ~~~~~ Lets give em more money that will make him a better shot .

Roberta Richardson
Roberta Richardson

Overkill. Poor training. They're very lucky that they didn't kill someone in the room on the other side, or above or below. Gives me the creeps.

Michael Horn
Michael Horn

If he had a gun I have no problem with 17 shots. If someone was trying to shoot me I'd unload every bullet I have at them.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

At what point does the relationship between bad cops and bad DAs become a criminal conspiracy? 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Anyone who supports the gang of thugs known as the Greeley Police Department deserves them, but the blood of their victims cries out for vengeance, and not everyone in Greeley is an evil fascist, so get rid of them!  As another poster points out, this criminal gang endangered others' lives -- while trying to entrap people for prostitution!  If you think that it is reasonable to fire off a bunch of rounds in a hotel because prostitution is illegal, you may be dumb enough to vote for Ken Buck.

Patient420
Patient420

I want to know why cops fired over twenty shots and not even a third of them hi their target, an adult male.


What, did the guy not have a dog they could kill instead?

Monkey
Monkey

Do our stupid prostitution laws prevent prostitution? Do they increase public safety? 

Alec Revelle
Alec Revelle

I am ashamed to admit it but my basic reaction is good riddence...

AlwaysHiring
AlwaysHiring

Can't wait till the feds move in to baby-sit these psychopaths.....For all the crying the police do about the dangers of guns, they sure have no problem putting every person near them at risk of losing their life, including children. Stray bullets go through walls, morons....Spraying bullets blindly into a room is neither safe nor honorable.....It's the act of a mentally ill scared child....Not a man......

Julie Miller
Julie Miller

Stan! Grow up! This man was a thug and you know it! Follow the law it's that simple.

Julie Miller
Julie Miller

3 warrants, on drugs, running a prostitution ring. He BROKE the LAW! What is so hard to understand about that? Another thug off the streets

Jené Hammond
Jené Hammond

Police are not out of control... People are... Give an inch take a mile... People have lost their minds and expect to be babied. And maybe if some of you people would control yourselves and stop committing crimes it would seem like such a police state... Stop always blaming the cops!

jwallick35
jwallick35

Who gives a shit. Let's debate on whether or not the officers fired too many bullets at a low-life piece of garbage, who serves no purpose other than to sell drugs and commit other various crimes. What? Let's not. Good riddance. The world is a better place without this scumbag.

cardboardcowboy
cardboardcowboy

This isn't an issue of justification, its an issue of basic f*king competence: four officers in a hotel room with a single suspect and the assclowns manage to hit him with less than 50% of the shots fired? It's a miracle those Cowtown Keystones didn't manage to shoot innocent bystanders (or each other: but I find that much more acceptable, and amusing) while they were playing their little game of who-has-the-smallest-pecker-and-fattest-wife.  


And one more thing: Ken Buck would be on his knees blowing every cop in Colorado in a second if he thought it would get him elected to a state-level office. He's a soft, flabby parasite. 

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Was he convicted?  If not, he is innocent until proven guilty...that's the American Liberal Justice system.  I understand the Taliban is MUCH more consistent with conservative "values."

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Significantly higher intelligence than a conservative.  Thank you for your question.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Lots of readers agree with you, Michael. Thanks for posting.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@Monkey Are you talking about the bribes we give politicians, calling them "campaign contributions?"  That has begun to sound so dirty....let's call them "Warm Fuzzy Campaign Contributions."  Bribe is just too descriptive.

Patient420
Patient420

Spell check is your friend. Otherwise you just appear ignorant.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

When you say follow the law, are you referring to bad police, or to other criminals?

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

So just kill them, why worry about a trail....hey, if you like that kind of government, let me introduce you to the conservative paradise of Iran, where trials are optional.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Passionate post, Julie. Thanks.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

They would have in the conservative paradise of Iran.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Comply and you won't be killed.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Strong point of view, Jene. We're going to feature it as an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

Patient420
Patient420

@jwallick35 Because all internet debates declare a winner. Actually, the first person to invoke godwin's law is the loser.

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