Stonewalled: Kiowa County sheriffs won’t explain why they killed Zach Gifford

Colorado News Collaborative: Brandon, population 21, lies three hours southeast of Denver. It’s a speck of a place amid Colorado’s Southeastern Plains as they reach toward Kansas.

On the afternoon of April 9, a shooting there rattled Kiowa County more than any news story had in the 90 years since three robbery suspects ambushed, shot and killed Deputy Sheriff Coral Hickman in 1930.

But this time, officers killed a civilian. Kiowa County’s Undersheriff Tracy Weisenhorn and Deputy Sheriff Quinten Stump – both new to the sheriff’s department and community – had stopped a truck in which Zach Gifford, 39, was a passenger. The autopsy report shows they roughed up and tasered the well-known and well-liked, 126-pound lifelong area resident. And they killed him when both, it seems, shot him in the back.

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