Judge Tosses Woman's Red Flag Complaint Against Cop Who Shot Her Son

Holly Matkin

Susan Holmes' request for an extreme risk protection order against CSU Cpl. Philip Morris was denied on Thursday.

Fort Collins, CO – The woman who attempted to use Colorado’s newly-enacted red flag law to strip away the firearms rights of the officer who fatally shot her son had her request denied by a district court judge on Thursday.

The law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, allows a law enforcement officer, household member, or family member to file such paperwork if they believe an individual is a threat to themselves or to others, KUSA reported.

On Jan. 9., Susan Holmes used the red flag law to file an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) petition and affidavit against Colorado State University (CSU) Corporal Philip Morris.

Cpl. Morris fatally shot her son, 19-year-old Jeremy Holmes, after Jeremy lunged at him with a large hunting knife on July 1, 2017.

Larimer County District Attorney Clifford Riedel determined that the officer’s use of deadly force was “clearly justified,” according to KDVR.

On the ERPO paperwork, under the penalty of perjury, Susan falsely claimed that she and Cpl. Morris have a child together and that the officer is her family member, KUSA reported.

Susan previously said that she planned to argue her interpretation of what “have a child in common” actually means, according to KDVR.

On Thursday, a Larimer County district court judge determined that Cpl. Morris is not Susan’s family member, and that Susan had no grounds for filing the request.

One day prior to the judge’s finding, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith publicly announced in a Facebook post that he “had not and would not” serve Susan’s petition on Cpl. Morris “because it is a fraud.”

“Under Colorado’s flawed ERPO law, Ms. Holmes was able to file a petition against the CSU officer, despite the facts that Ms. Holmes has no legal standing and the petition on its face has zero merit,” Sheriff Smith wrote.

Susan could face potential criminal charges as a result.

“We are actively investigating this abuse of the system and we will determine what charges may be substantiated against the petitioner, Ms. Holmes,” Sheriff Smith said. “Because this represents an active investigation, I will not be making any additional comments on this case at this time.”

Sheriff Smith noted that the incident has exposed “the tremendous potential for abuse of ill drafted, politically motivated laws, like Colorado’s Red Flag law.”

The fatal altercation between Cpl. Morris and Jeremy occurred after Susan called police to report that Jeremy was armed with a knife and threatening to kill his brother, KDVR reported.

Jeremy was still armed with the large knife when Cpl. Morris and a second CSU officer encountered him in the 550-block of West Prospect Road, according to KUSA.

Bodycam footage showed that during the two minutes that followed, police ordered Jeremy to drop the 11-inch blade over 40 times, according to the Coloradoan.

The suspect refused to comply and demanded that the officers shoot him.

At one point during the encounter, Cpl. Morris started to holster his duty weapon so he could deploy a Taser to subdue him, but Jeremy charged at him with the knife as he was trying to transition weapons, KUSA reported.

Both officers opened fire, killing him.

Police investigators described the incident as a situation of “suicide by cop,” KUSA reported.

Susan has since claimed that police overreacted in handling her 911 call.

“Kids say that all the time about ‘I’m gonna kill my brother…he’s pissed me off,’” she told KDVR. “I didn’t even take it seriously.”

In her ERPO petition and affidavit, Susan alleged that “Phil Morris used his firearm to recklessly & violently threaten and kill” her son.

Susan also endorsed a statement on the petition accusing Cpl. Morris of threatening or harming others.

"There have been a pattern of acts or credible threats of violence by the respondent in the last year, including but not limited to acts or credible threats of violence against self or others,” the document read, according to the Coloradoan.

Susan provided no evidence to bolster her bold claim, noting only that the details of the additional alleged wrongdoings were “unknown but possible,” the Coloradoan reported.

She also alleged that it is “unknown but possible,” that Cpl. Morris may have previously been convicted of a domestic violence offense, and accused him of “ongoing violence and aggression from 2013-2017.”

“I filed this ERPO because there was a coverup in my son’s murder,” Susan told KDVR. “I believe Officer Phil Morris murdered my son.”

She noted that Cpl. Morris is “absolutely” a danger to the public.

“He shouldn’t even be a police officer!” she declared.

Susan also dismissed questions regarding her claim that she and Cpl. Morris share a child together.

“People might think it’s weird. I don’t.” she told KDVR shortly after her filing. “I can’t talk about my strategy of what I’m going to present in court on that.”

Susan said she is pushing to have the red flag law amended so that members of the public can file for ERPOs against law enforcement officers.

“I’ve never received any justice, and neither has my son,” Susan said in a YouTube video showcasing her petition paperwork. “He was slaughtered by Officer Phil Morris…I think he should never have a gun again in his life. He shouldn’t even be a police officer.”

“Jeremy’s just quietly walking down the street doing nothing. No harm to anybody. Nothing,” she added. “[Cpl. Morris is] out of control and violent and kills teenagers.”

Colorado House Minority Leader Representative Patrick Neville blasted the red flag law in a tweet on Tuesday.

"We predicted this and said a falsely accused person has no recourse other than hoping a DA files charges. No recourse to recoup lost wages or reputation," Neville wrote. "One example of many about how this bill was so horribly written."

Susan, who held up a “Kill All Police…They Are Killing Us” sign during a protest at CSU in 2017, has also filed a civil lawsuit against CSU, the Coloradoan reported.

Comments (21)
Debbie1964
Debbie1964

It's sad. She definitely needs counselling and more. Her grief has gotten a grim hold on her mind. It seems she's forgotten that she is the one who called the police because she feared her son was going to kill his brother. A lot of dysfunction in the family.

No. 1-15
MotorMan
MotorMan

Now that she has falsified a legal document will there be pending charges? I know it is like kicking someone when they are down but if there is no retribution for these actions it will continue to happen. I also agree with Debbie1964 that she does need some intervention.

JBoH
JBoH

"...details of the additional alleged wrongdoings were “unknown but possible,...”

Ya know, that's a charge that I've wanted to level against defendants many times but I just couldn't find the statute on the books.

Boston_Cowboy
Boston_Cowboy

“Kids say that all the time about ‘I’m gonna kill my brother…he’s pissed me off,’” she told KDVR. “I didn’t even take it seriously.” If she didn't "take it seriously," why did she call the police?

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Her and that family have serious issues!! Your sorry ass is the one who called the police! He threatened his brothers life and then the officer's life. He brought about his own death! He was not innocent. Stop blaming everyone else for your son's problems or your failure as a mother and human being!!

2jazzyj
2jazzyj

How can she use a law that was implemented in 2020 for an incident 2 1/2 years prior?

Anomie88
Anomie88

When is she being charged?

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

There’s not a court across this country that will let sign charges with new law that happened almost 3 years ago. Sounds like she needs some professional help!!

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Unless she is criminally charged for perjury, filing a false police report, and civilly sued by the officer for her defamatory claims, there really is no reason for the next person who feels slighted by a cop to do exactly the same thing and lie on a red flag complaint to cause the the cop unjustified problems.

Crazy Horse Archives
Crazy Horse Archives

Hey lady, you're a complete nut. Screw you and your kid.

RunCop
RunCop

Stupid bitch and I’ll bet, I mean I know her son was (ha ha) was a POS.

Schick56
Schick56

Ha Ha bitch!

Friendofblue
Friendofblue

As the mother, wife, and grandmother of police officers I'd like to file a complaint too. If I stood with a sign Kill all the [u fill in the blank] I could have charges against me.SO HOW is this ok against police officers???

Schoolbusser
Schoolbusser

This situation shows how stupid the law is and how it can be manipulated to harass and harm the police. The woman is a complete but case and doesn't deserve one more minute of attention.

Rtrdfed0274
Rtrdfed0274

Lots of learning pints here:

  1. Crack don’t smoke itself (unknown but possible)

  2. Don’t verbalize a terroristic threat when holding a deadly weapon.

  3. Don’t lunge at an LEO with said weapon.

  4. Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.

This POS “mother” needs to be prosecuted for perjury - I also believe Officer Morris should receive financial reparations from her for defamation.


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