Coroner: Man shot on Rifle bridge by police died from gunshot wounds of chest
Editor’s note: This story has been revised from the original version to include the exact wording of the coroner’s press release; that the cause of death was gunshot wounds “of the chest,” rather than to the chest.
Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire has released the cause of death for a Rifle man shot by police on the Colorado River Bridge at Rifle Monday as resulting from two gunshot wounds of the chest.
Allan George, 57, was shot and died a short time later at Grand River Hospital after a confrontation with Rifle police officers during an arrest attempt around 7:20 p.m. Monday.
Two police officers remain on paid administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing. The coroner’s office is investigating the manner of death as a homicide — meaning the death came at the hands of another person.
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“As most coroner and medical examiner offices in the U.S., the Garfield County Coroner’s Office follows the National Association of Medical Examiners Guide for Manner of Death Classification, which provide five basic categories of ‘manner’ of death,” Glassmire explained in a press release issued late Wednesday evening.
“None of these categories, including ‘homicide,’ necessarily means a crime was or was not committed,” he said of the investigation procedure. “A determination regarding whether the death of a person was the result of a crime is determined by the criminal justice system.”
George was shot and killed during the confrontation after police had stopped the vehicle he was driving on the state Highway 13 bridge, just north of the main Rifle exit on Interstate 70. The officers were attempting to arrest George on a warrant related to a child pornography charge out of Eagle County.
Further information about the nature of the child sexual exploitation charges against George has not yet been made available by Eagle County Courts.
The incident occurred shortly after 7 p.m., and resulted in the highway being closed until early Tuesday morning while the scene was being investigated.
George was transported to Grand River Hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after the incident.
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Walt Stowe said Tuesday that George had a gun, and police appeared to have followed protocol.
A judge in Eagle County issued a warrant for George’s arrest earlier Monday. When police got to George on the bridge, “things escalated,” Stowe said.
“He had a gun, and the Rifle Police Department responded initially, to my knowledge, according to protocol,” Stowe said
A sheriff’s press release stated that, “for the health, safety and welfare of the general public, as well as the officers present, shots were fired.”
No police officers were injured during the confrontation, Stowe said.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, and the Rifle Police Department will perform an administrative review, Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein said Monday.
A special 9th Judicial District Critical Incident Team, made up of area law enforcement agencies, is investigating the incident, and is asking any witnesses of the shooting to contact Investigator Matt Jenness at 970-665-0220.
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