Accidental gun discharge kills police officer’s son
Steamboat Springs — This story has been updated.
The Routt County law enforcement community was in mourning Thursday after learning about the apparent accidental shooting of the 3-year-old son of a Steamboat Springs Police Department officer.
“It’s a tragedy in our family, and we’re focusing on the welfare of our employee and his family,” Police Chief Cory Christensen said.
The boy was at his home in the Stagecoach area with his parents when he was shot. A person called 911 at 8:38 a.m. to report a boy had shot himself.
The names of the parents and the boy were not being released Thursday.
“We want to make sure that all the family members have been contacted,” Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said.
The Routt County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the shooting and had called the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to help.
Undersheriff Ray Birch would not say if the boy was alone when he was shot or what kind of gun he was shot with. He would also not say whether the boy was shot with a gun issued by the police department.
“I cannot give you details of our investigator’s interview with the parents, at this point,” Birch said.
After the boy was shot, he was driven toward Steamboat by his father and a friend. They were met on the way by Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue paramedics, who then took the boy to Yampa Valley Medical Center.
“It was a number of hours before we received the sad news that he passed,” Birch said.
Birch said they were in the process of reconstructing what happened inside the home.
Birch said it was hard to find the words to describe how the law enforcement community was feeling.
“It’s very emotional,” Birch said. “We’re like a family. We’re very close.”
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As Steamboat Springs Police Department Chief Cory Christensen prepares to end his tenure with the city, City Manager Gary Suiter said he hopes to have the position filled by the end of the year.