Fort Collins, CO - Body-cam video was released on Tuesday of an incident where a suspect with a knife was fatally shot by police officers (video below.)
On July 1, Jeremy Holmes' mother, Susan, called 911 to report that her son was carrying a big knife and was going to kill his brother and sister-in-law.
She told dispatchers that he was walking from Drake Road and College Avenue to his brother's and sister-in-law's home at Aggie Village Apartments.
Susan Holmes also said that Jeremy had mental health issues and had consented to a mental health evaluation about two weeks ago. The results or details from the mental health assessment have not been released.
"He's got mental health issues that have been growing for the last few months just dramatically. ... There's no reason for him to be doing this."
She also said in the 911 call that Jeremy had told her he planned to charge at police so that he would die.
"He just said you're going to lose either two sons today or one. I'm just so horrified."
Colorado State University Corporal Phil Morris responded, located Jeremy Holmes about 25 minutes later, and began talking with him.
Fort Collins Police Services Officer Erin Mast was enroute to a burglary call when she passed Cpl. Morris and Jeremy. She immediately saw what was happening, and stopped to assist.
Cpl. Morris could be heard telling Jeremy, to drop the knife more than 40 times.He also repeatedly told Jeremy Holmes that he didn't want to hurt him, and that there were options available to him.
Jeremy Holmes could be heard telling the officers that he wanted to die, and that he would put the knife down if he could be given immunity.
"This is the end, so I want you to kill me."
As Jeremy advanced, Cpl. Morris advised Officer Mast that he was going to try to use his taser on him. Jeremy charcge as Cpl. Morris began to switch to his taser from his firearm.
In less than two seconds, Jeremy closed the distance to Cpl. Morris, who was able to fire shots as Jeremy was just inches away. Officer Mast also fired multiple times at Jeremy Holmes, who fell to the ground.
He was transported to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, where he was pronounced dead.
The time frame from when Cpl. Morris exited his vehicle to confront Jeremy Holmes and when he was shot was just over a minute and a half.
Jeremy Holmes' weapon was described as an 11.25 inch bayonet knife that he purchased at a pawn shop four days earlier.
At a press conference on Tuesday, CSU Police Department Chief Scott Harris said that both officers tried to de-escalate the situation. He commended the officers' actions, which he called "exemplary."
Chief Harris said Cpl. Morris' actions included "trying to do whatever he could to de-escalate and to get the gentleman, Mr. Holmes, to drop that knife" alone until officer Mast arrived and provided cover.
Fort Collins Interim Police Chief Terry Jones said that the outcome of the shooting was unfortunate. He explained the 21-foot rule, which officers across the nation are taught, and said that any armed suspect within 21 feet of an officer is considered lethal.
He said "but if you notice in Officer Mast's video just how close Mr. Holmes got to (Morris), it was surprising the threat stopped as fast as it did." The distance between where Jeremy Holmes fell to where Cpl. Morris was standing was about 11 feet.
Chief Jones said that officers did everything they could, and called Morris' actions to de-escalate "impressive."
After her son was fatally shot, Susan Holmes has been openly critical of the officers and how they handled the incident.
In an open letter to city leaders and the media, she said:
"...the DA’s summary of facts excludes pertinent details that would indicate there was significant error on the part of the police including the DA’s unacknowledged use of excessive force. My son, Jeremy Holmes was shot six times. Provision of the missing facts along with the deconstruction of Officer Morris’s actions, will reveal that Jeremy’s death was unnecessary and preventable."
Susan Holmes said that her son was suffering a severe reaction to THC found in marijuana, which caused him to be suicidal. She asked to view the unedited video where her son's face and his injuries could be seen, and was given consent.
Chief Jones said, "I feel very bad for the whole ordeal. Unfortunately, her son died that evening, and it was his actions that resulted in the actions taken by law enforcement."
Morris' body-cam video is the first time that the Colorado State University has released body-cam video of an officer-involved shooting. A pilot phase of a program to test body-cameras for CSU officers was held over the summer, and officers have been wearing them for about two months.
You can see the video of the shooting below. WARNING - Graphic Content: