DA’s office reviewing shooting case
Steamboat Springs — Authorities remain tight-lipped about how they believe the 3-year-old son of a Steamboat Springs Police Department officer got his father’s gun and shot himself.
The incident occurred July 14 at a home owned by Michael and Joni Stiles in the Stagecoach area. Gavin Stiles, the couple’s son, died from the injury.
Michael and Joni Stiles were home when the shooting occurred.
Police Chief Cory Christensen said Michael Stiles requested an unpaid leave of absence following Gavin’s death. Christensen approved up to six months of unpaid leave.
“We continue to offer our support to Mike and his family as they are navigating this terrible loss,” Christensen said.
Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg ruled the death accidental and said the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest.
The shooting was investigated by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said Wednesday that the District Attorney’s Office has asked him not to discuss the case.
Wiggins said his office is still awaiting reports from the medical examiner and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. He said those reports could extend the investigation if they contain unanticipated information.
The District Attorney’s Office has begun reviewing the investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office.
“There are reports still pending from other agencies that assisted the Sheriff’s Office,” District Attorney Brett Barkey said. “Our review will not be complete until all the reports are in.”
Barkey would not comment on whether a special prosecutor from outside the 14th Judicial District would be asked to look at the case and determine if criminal charges are appropriate.
According to everytownresearch.org, there have been at least 156 unintentional shootings involving children in 2016 in the United States. There have been five shootings in Colorado this year. Three of those shootings resulted in deaths, and two resulted in the filing of criminal charges.
The Denver Post reported that Tagee Robinson, 22, was charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury after his 3-year-old son accidentally shot himself in the hip May 22 in Denver.
The boy found the 38-caliber pistol in Robinson’s gun safe. It was not clear to prosecutors if the boy turned a key to unlock the safe or if the safe had been left unlocked.
The Denver Post also reported on a 17-year-old boy who was arrested on suspicion of felony negligent child abuse resulting in death.
The boy’s 10-year-old brother shot himself in Aurora on June 10. Family members told the Post they believe the 10-year-old found the gun on top of a shelf wrapped in cloth.
The 17-year-old was charged as a juvenile.
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