David Ludewig Shooting: No Charges Against Security Guard for Killing Man With Airsoft Gun

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David Ludewig in a photo from cousin Johnny Secrest's Facebook page. More photos and a video below.
Earlier this month, we told you about the death of David Ludewig, who was shot and killed by a security guard after allegedly pointing an Airsoft gun at him.

17th Judicial District DA Dave Young has now announced that he will not be filing criminal charges against the guard, Gustav Ruppel -- a move that prompted Ludewig's cousin, who was with him at the time of the shooting, to lash out at the media. Continue for details, photos, a video and Young's complete decision letter.

See also: David Ludewig Killed by Security Guard After Leak-Taking Roust Led to Pointing Airsoft Gun

The incident reportedly took place at around 1:25 a.m. on August 2, and in his letter to Westminster Police Department Detective Joe Pudelwits, Young maintains that "the evidence is largely uncontroverted."

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The sign for the Sunset Ridge apartment complex as seen in 7News coverage.
The document states that Ruppel contacted Ludewig and his cousin, Johnny Secrest, at the Sunset Ridge apartment complex in Westminster after seeing Ludewig urinating on a fence or a dumpster. "Mr. Ludewig and Mr. Secrest were returning from a bar and were intoxicated," the letter states.

At that point, Ruppel is said to have tried identifying Ludewig, prompting an argument. Ludewig and Secrest then walked or ran toward their apartment, with Ruppel following in the same general direction in an effort to identify the apartment number. Ruppel subsequently encountered an angry Secrest in the parking lot around the time Ludewig emerged from his apartment holding what appeared to be a handgun.

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Ludewig is quoted as saying, "Do you want to bring out a gun, motherfucker?" Next, the report says, Ludewig walked toward the parking lot, approached Ruppel and pointed the gun at him.

In response, Ruppel pulled his own gun and ordered Ludewig to stop and drop his weapon, the letter states. Instead, Ludewig allegedly continued advancing with his gun aimed at the security guard. Seconds later, Ruppel fired two shots at Ludewig, killing him.

Young stresses that while Ludewig's gat was actually an Airsoft gun, its lack of an orange tip made it appear to be genuine.

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Another look at the scene from 7News coverage.
Afterward, the narrative continues, Secrest allegedly hid the Airsoft gun inside the apartment under a mattress, where it was found by law enforcement. He said he put it there because he didn't want Ludewig to get into trouble.

For his part, Ruppel is off the hook. After quoting from Colorado's self-defense statute, Young writes:

Mr. Ludewig displayed what appeared to be a handgun and made comments about a gun directed at Mr. Ruppel. Additionally, he ignored Mr. Ruppel's commands to drop the gun and continued to advance toward Mr. Ruppel with the weapon pointed at him. The evidence supports the conclusion that Mr. Ruppel drew his handgun at the point in which he perceived Mr. Ludewig displaying what appeared to be a deadly weapon. The evidence further supports the conclusion that Mr. Ruppel fired his weapon only after he reasonably perceived to be the use of unlawful physical force by Mr. Ludewig's conduct with what appeared to be a handgun.
As such, Young goes on, "we will not be filing criminal charges in this matter."

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Johnny Secrest as seen in his Facebook profile pic.
Secrest's response to this decision, as shared on Facebook, is directed not so much at the DA as it is to a pair of media outlets. The unedited post reads:
What a classy move fox 31 n 9 news just found out davids killer w not b charged criminally. N u called me for my response to this news. This w be me my last statement re this subject. Im am saddened by this n outraged at ur lack of tact in handleing of this matter w myself my family n david. Asshat hacks news hungry dicks. Theres my statement.
Here's a 7News report broadcast shortly after the incident, followed by Young's decision letter.

David Ludewig Decision Letter

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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29 comments
diptibahuguna13
diptibahuguna13

Airsoft itself means replica firearms that is, they look like real guns, but they are non firing. So how can a person kill other person with replica guns? These guns are generally made to show off and not for killing purpose.

Nathan Embree
Nathan Embree

So he should have observed the man shoot him, then report it? A journalists job is to observe and report. Armed guards are hired for protection.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

Killing people is legal in the USA if you are a police officer, security guard, or soldier...being able to kill people is a job requirement in these professions.   Homicide is "the deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another."  When police, security guards, and soldiers kill the acts almost always are considered lawful so they are exempt from the definition of homicide or murder when the government decides they are.  Now we have police officers driving tanks and carrying war-style, automatic weapons like soldiers...other police officers are carrying around police issued nunchucks acting like ninjas...all legal.  Wtf america?  How about we move towards using non-lethal responses to threats...rubber bullets, mace, tear gas, etc

Alec Revelle
Alec Revelle

There actually will be a trial in this case-a civil one. Look for the family to file a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the guard and the company he worked for. So there wont be any criminal charges but as I said, there will be a civil trial and the facts of the case will come out and people should be able to get a better handle on what happened and if it was ajustifiable shooting or not.

Richard Fowler
Richard Fowler

Air soft guns look nothing like real guns. He's just another vigilante Gunbagger

Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis

The gun was aimed at him, who should he have reported to, and how. What if it was real? He defended himself from what looked like a real threat.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Note to obese cowardly knuckle-draggin' Neanderthal security guards everywhere -- it's OK to shoot and kill children with toy guns.

Richard Fowler
Richard Fowler

He should be tarred and feathered. Air Soft guns look nothing like real guns

Alec Revelle
Alec Revelle

no surprise here, the right decision was made.

Chris Clayton
Chris Clayton

Absolutely, the guard was not wrong for acting when a gun was pointed at him. In a split second you can't determine rather the gun is a real gun or airsoft gun, if you take longer than a second to decide and its real you may be dead. I'm glad they did not pin criminal charges on him. Maybe people will learn from this tragic mistake, and not point any type of gun at security or other armed personnel.

Cliff Lopez
Cliff Lopez

hell ya..Denver Westword, makes it seem as a game to point gun at someone...

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

It's too bad that Ludewig spent the evening at a bar the night he brandished a replica firearm at a security guard; had he been at a cannabis club instead, he would be alive today.  In light of the total lack of harm caused by cannabis, our anti-representatives just banned its public consumption last year; bars, strongly associated with crimes of violence and deaths caused by drunken driving, were not restricted in any way.

mfblaha
mfblaha

a civil case where David Ludewig will be found at fault for his own death and his family will be out money because there is ZERO chance they win. 

mfblaha
mfblaha

@DonkeyHotay children? David Ludewig was in his mid 20's and from all the accounts of witnesses was 100% responsible for what happened to him. i know youre upset your friend died but it was his own fault. I would love to hear what you think about this whole situation when you have a chance to really think about it a year or 2 down the road. 

sballardo672
sballardo672

@DonkeyHotay  especially when its dark out and you cant be certain if its real or a toy and don't want to wait and find out the hard way.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "It's too bad that Ludewig spent the evening at a bar the night he brandished a replica firearm at a security guard; had he been at a cannabis club instead, he would be alive today."


Do you get paid to be a lying piece of shit, or do you do it for free?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@mfblaha "was 100% responsible for what happened to him."


So he shot himself?


Do you claim that Nicole Brown Simpson was 100% responsible for what happened to her?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@sballardo672 ... sure, better to kill unarmed people than ascertain an actual threat.


Did your mother raise you to be a gutless coward, or is that a skill you developed on your own?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @RobertChase "Lying"?  Taking alcohol lowers inhibitions and is well correlated with risky behavior; from the circumstances described, it seems very likely that Ludewig was intoxicated by alcohol when he made the fatal mistake of confronting an armed man with a toy.  It is entirely reasonable to suppose that had Ludewig spent the evening using cannabis, he would not have engaged in so foolish a confrontation and would still be alive.

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