Castle Rock couple sues town for records in police shooting

From The Denver Post: The ACLU and a Castle Rock couple whose car was hit by a police officer’s bullet while he was responding to a burglary in February are suing town officials for records related to the shooting and the officer’s conduct.

Town and police officials have repeatedly denied Michael and Susan Cardellas’ open-records requests for documents detailing the internal investigation into the Feb. 21 shooting, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday. The couple also wants information concerning Officer Terry Watts’ conduct about 1 p.m. that day, when he fired his rifle at fleeing burglary suspects in a Ford Explorer.

One of the bullets hit the Cardellas’ car while they were inside. The incident touched off on the 500 block of Mango Drive when a neighbor heard the burglars leaving and called police.

Police at the time said the driver of the Explorer swerved trying to hit a police officer and that an officer, identified in the lawsuit as Watts, fired shots at the vehicle, prompting the suspects to jump out and run. All three were captured.

The Cardellas, who live in the neighborhood, were on their way home when they saw Watts standing near the side of the road with his back toward them, aiming a rifle, according to the lawsuit. They pulled over to avoid being hit.

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