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Officer-involved shooting in Colorado Springs ruled justified by the District Attorney’s office

4th Judicial District of Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- In December of 2021, the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) responded to a home invasion.

The suspect was shot by a CSPD officer and died as a result of the injuries. Colorado’s 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office (DA) investigated this shooting. Colorado statute states that all officer-involved shootings that result in injury or death shall be reviewed by a multi-agency team: A Deadly Force Investigation Team.

CSPD officers Jacob Kelly and Peter Mandry responded to this call. The homeowner was in a bedroom and the suspect was attempting to enter that room. Both officers approached the reporting party’s residence and observed a man, later identified as Michael Anthony Pantoja, standing inside the residence, at the front doorway.

The DA reports that responding CSPD officers saw that Pantoja had a large amount of blood on his shirt and pants. After dropping a knife, Pantoja then picked the knife back up, opened a glass storm door, and rushed the officers.

According to the DA, officers gave Pantoja clear verbal commands to drop the knife. Pantoja continued moving down the sidewalk towards Officer Kelly.

The DA says that Officer Kelly called for Officer Mandry to deploy his taser and requested medical via CSPD Communications, based on the blood observed on Pantoja’s clothing.

The DA reports that Pantoja then stopped his forward progression and bent at the waist for approximately 15 seconds. He then stood up abruptly and ran toward Officer Kelly with the knife raised in his hand. As officers continued with verbal commands, Officer Mandry unsuccessfully attempted to deploy his taser. Officer Kelly then fired his weapon four times, all of which hit Pantoja.

According to the DA, Officer Kelly immediately began rendering medical aid once the knife was secured. Multiple CSPD officers arrived on the scene and relived Officer Kelly taking over life-saving efforts. The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) arrived and continued advanced lifesaving efforts, which were ultimately unsuccessful.

The DA says that the autopsy report noted multiple gunshot wounds to Pantoja’s right thigh, left chest, and two shots to the right chest. Pantoja also had multiple self-inflicted stab wounds to his abdomen. Toxicology analysis of Pantoja’s blood reported the presence of Amphetamine and Methamphetamine. It was later determined that the self-inflicted wounds occurred at Pantoja’s address and not the location of the home invasion.

The DA states that all Colorado Springs Police Department officers involved had their Body Worn Cameras (BWC) activated, and their recordings of this incident were successfully downloaded in their entirety. All BWC recordings were incorporated in this investigation.

The DA has ruled the use of deadly force by Officer Kelly justified.

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Emily Arseneau

Emily is a Digital Content Producer for KRDO. Learn more about her here.

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