Aurora, CO — Just as news about the tragic murder of Atatiana Jefferson by a Fort Worth police officer, who shot her through the window, surfaced, another similar incident unfolded in Aurora, Colo. An Aurora police officer — without saying anything — shot a 22-year-old man in the back through a window in his own home. The man never even saw the cop until after he'd been shot by him.
“It’s crazy,” said Denver criminal defense attorney Birk Baumgartner, who is representing Andy Huff, the man shot by police.”They shot him through a window in the back.”
According to Baumgartner, police never announced themselves at Huff's home and never identified themselves as police before opening fire on Huff as he stood inside his own home. Adding insult to unprovoked attempted murder is the fact that after they dumped several rounds through a window and shot this man in the back, they arrested and charged him with assault and menacing.
“That’s a complete cover-up,” Baumgartner said, implying that the charges were falsely brought so the officers can cover their crimes.
“They sneaked up on Huff in his home and shot him in the back without ever even saying they were there,” Baumgartner said. “They never identified themselves as police.”
According to police, they were called to the Huff residence that day to help solve a dispute between Huff and his former roommate, George Gutierrez, 26.
As the Sentinel reports:
Baumgartner said the dispute began after Gutierrez allegedly stole a car belonging to Huff’s brother. The three men got into a scuffle and police were called.
Baumgartner said Huff and his brother “cooperated with police 100 percent.” Police left the scene at about 1 p.m.
According to Huff's attorney, Huff was worried that Gutierrez was going to return to his residence after police left, so he stayed up and watchful. Instead of Gutierrez returning, however, police came back around 11:30 p.m.
Witnesses reported that police officers without their cars approach Huff's home and began sneaking around.
Huff was inside the home with his wife and their 3-year-old daughter when he heard something outside. Huff told Baumgartner that he thought the person snooping outside was Gutierrez trying to break in, so he retrieved his entirely legal shotgun from its case.
Huff's wife also told police that Gutierrez had been making threats toward their family.
As FOX Denver reports:
The affidavit says several officers saw Huff standing in his living room in front of a large window. One officer even waved at Huff and “was certain Andrew Huff saw her and recognized her as a police officer.”
An officer knocked on the door, but nowhere in the affidavit does it mention officers verbally identifying themselves as police. A press release says Huff reappeared in front of the window with a shotgun.
Recommended for You
“The only thing we saw were people wearing all black with no lights with guns in our yard,” Huff's wife, Leah Freeman said.
As Huff walked through his home, an officer spotted him through the window and opened fire, shooting Huff in the back. He dumped several rounds through the window, severely injuring Huff.
“Andy screamed, ‘I was shot,’” Freeman said. “When I ran out into the hallway, I saw him fall backwards. I turn him over and there it is, on the upper portion of his buttocks on his back and he’s bleeding profusely.”
Police admitted Huff never fired his weapon and now Baumgartner is calling for the officer who shot him to be arrested.
“Andy said that he saw five people outside with guns on them,” Freeman said. “But he didn’t say that they were police.”
“This is like the all-American kind of scene of a dad protecting his family,” Baumgartner said.
Sadly, however, because the people he was defending his home from were cops, the hero in this story is painted as the criminal.
According to the Sentinel, Baumgartner said Huff was critically injured in the shooting. His colon was severed and the officer’s bullet is still lodged in the lower portion of his body.
Huff will possibly suffer urinary and reproductive problems the rest of his life, Baumgartner said.
He had done nothing but attempt to defend his home from a would be assailant and he was shot through the window, just like Jefferson. Because he didn't die, however, police are now charging him.
According to Baumgartner, there is video of the shooting taken by a neighbor and he plans to possibly release it this week.
Also, in a statement, police said investigators will release the full body-worn camera footage of the incident sometime in the future.
“We recognize trust in our community hinges on accurate transparency in all critical incidents, especially in officer-involved-shootings,” Aurora Police Spokeswoman Crystal McCoy wrote in a statement published Wednesday afternoon. ” … We will release the body worn camera footage when we can do so in a manner that does not impede any future court proceedings.”
"If you don't want to get shot by police, don't break the law," is a phrase oft repeated by the police apologists. Unfortunately, however, this phrase is proven wrong on a regular basis and the proof comes in the form of injured innocent people and dead bodies.