Video contradicts investigators’ claims about man’s shooting death

Posted at 2:57 PM, February 9, 2023 and last updated 11:07 AM, May 4, 2023

By Óscar Contreras

LITTLETON, Colo. (KMGH) – The Littleton Police Department is backtracking a previous statement in the deadly shooting of a man last week after surveillance video showed a contradicting set of events originally claimed by investigators the day the shooting.

Police originally claimed on Feb. 2 that an officer tried to contact a suspicious man on a stolen motorcycle who reportedly crashed before he took off running from the scene. Investigators then said the man pulled out a handgun and the officer shot him.

(Littleton Police Dept.)

The suspect — identified as 41-year-old Stephen Charles Poolson, Jr., — would later die at a local hospital.

A 31-second surveillance video released by Littleton police Wednesday night, however, shows the suspect did not crash his motorcycle but was in fact rammed by police as he tried to leave the scene.

The clip shows what appears to be a brief interaction between the officer and Poolson, Jr., who are parallel to each other, before the suspect appears to turn on the ignition of the motorcycle as if trying to leave.

At that point, the officer is then seen steering his vehicle toward the suspect and ramming his patrol car, knocking Poolson Jr. off the allegedly stolen motorcycle.

The 41-year-old man stands up and runs away from the scene outside the view of the surveillance camera. The officer chases after him about five seconds later.

The video does not show the moment the man allegedly pulled out a handgun, nor does it show the moment the officer fired his weapon at the man.

In a statement Wednesday night, a spokeswoman for the department said the information initially released on Feb. 2 was “preliminary… and was the most accurate information that LPD had at the time.”

“It is always our goal to find the most accurate information possible, and sometimes that information takes time,” said spokeswoman Sheera Poelman.

Poelman said that because the 1st Judicial Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is investigating the shooting, more information about the events that led to the deadly shooting of Poolson Jr. could not be released at this time.

“Upon completion of the investigation, the department does plan to release not only the Body Worn Camera footage, per Colorado law but also any additional video/audio/or pertinent information that will convey as much information as possible to the public,” Poelman said.

This story was originally published Feb. 9 by KMGH in Denver, an E.W. Scripps Company.

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