Christian Glass sounded very paranoid when he called a 911 dispatcher in June, asking her to send sheriff’s deputies to help him after he ran his car off the road.
The 22-year-old man told the Clear Creek County sheriff’s dispatcher that people were after him as well as skin-walkers, which are evil witches in Navajo culture.
When the dispatcher asked if he had any weapons, he told her he had a couple of knives, a hammer and a mallet, geology tools he was using to collect rocks which was his hobby. But he assured her he would throw the items out the window to ease the fears of deputies.
“I will throw them out the window as soon as officers get here,” he told the dispatcher. “I’m not dangerous. I will keep my hands completely visible. I understand this is a dodgy situation.”
But when he made the same offer to Clear Creek sheriff’s deputy Andrew Buen, who was one of the initial respondents, the deputy told him not to do that, apparently fearing for his life.
That same deputy would end up shooting him to death about an hour later when Glass lifted the knife from the driver’s seat and pointed it towards another deputy who was standing outside his front car door.
Buen claimed he was trying to protect the other deputy from being stabbed but that deputy did not appear to be afraid because the car window was closed as it had been for the entire time they were trying to get him to step out of his car.
Also, another deputy who was standing on the hood of the car with his gun drawn – and had a clear overhead view of Glass inside the car – refrained from firing. Instead, he reacted in shock to the shooting.
“Oh, my God! What did we do?” the deputy said. “F*ck!”
The deputies then had to shatter the front car window with a baton to pull Glass out who was pronounced dead on the scene.
The incident took place on June 11 but body camera video was released Wednesday, displaying a much different scenario described by the sheriff’s office in June.
The initial narrative from the sheriff’s office accused Glass of being “argumentative and uncooperative” and claimed he had “armed himself with a knife” before trying to stab a deputy.
But the video shows Glass was afraid to step out of the car and never threatened the deputies with his knives until they started shooting him with bean bag rounds and tasers which was when it sounded like he said, “I’m going to kill every one of you” as he screamed out in pain.
“He was stuck on a small pile of rocks on the side of the road and called 911 for help,” said the victim’s father, Simon Glass, during a press conference Tuesday. “It was dark, and he was really worried. He trusted police to come and help him. Instead, they attacked and killed him.”
An autopsy determined Glass had a .01 blood alcohol level at the time of the shooting. He also had THC, the active compound in marijuana, as well as amphetamine, which his parents say was the Ritalin he would take for his ADHD.
Clear Creek County District Attorney Heidi McCollum said her office will present the case to a grand jury to determine if Buen needs to be indicted.
The video shows Buen was the most aggressive and least patient of all the deputies at the scene, pointing his gun at Glass shortly after arriving on the scene even though Glass was not making any threatening gestures or statements towards the deputies. Instead, he made a heart gesture with his hands and held it up to the car window towards the deputies.
Buen also insisted on being the one to shatter the passenger window which then allowed him to shoot non-lethal bean bag rounds at Glass, causing him to yell out in pain. Buen followed that up by firing his taser, causing Glass to scream out in pain even louder.
That was when an agitated Glass lifted the knife towards the other deputy, prompting Buen to shoot him five times. Glass then began to stab himself but the wounds were superficial.
“He was just too scared to get out of his car,” his mother, Sally Glass, told reporters at the press conference.
News of the shooting has spread to New Zealand where Glass was born before moving to Colorado with his parents at the age of ten. His parents described him as a sensitive and creative artist who suffered from depression and had recently been diagnosed with ADHD.