Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Investigation underway in fatal shooting by state patrol

Details slow in coming for Thanksgiving Day incident

by Mark Reaman

State investigators are looking into an incident that resulted in the shooting and death of a 59-year-old Mancos, Colo. man by a Colorado State Patrol officer on Highway 135 just south of Crested Butte on Thanksgiving Day.

Investigators from the Seventh Judicial Critical Incident Investigative Team and Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are involved in scrutinizing the incident that resulted in Patrick Langhoff being shot after an auto accident at about 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 22.

Because the incident involved a law enforcement officer shooting someone, the CBI and local law enforcement agencies have been extremely tight-lipped about the situation.

The CBI has put out a couple of press release statements and, based on those, it appears the incident began when Colorado State Patrol sergeant Joshua Boden was called to the area of State Highway 135, near mile marker 23 south of Crested Butte and Riverland, in response to a one-vehicle accident just after 4 p.m. on Thursday. “The initial investigation by the 7th Judicial Critical Incident Investigative Team indicates that 59-year-old Patrick Michael Langhoff brandished a firearm during the course of the response and was shot during the incident. Langhoff was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

No law enforcement officers or nearby civilians were injured in the incident. Witnesses who were on the highway at the time said a pick-up truck had apparently rolled over onto the west side of the roadway at about 4:10 p.m. They would not go into details and wished to remain anonymous but said it appeared a struggle of some sort preceded the sound of a gunshot.

The road was closed to traffic for approximately three hours as the area was secured for investigators who arrived on scene that evening. One lane of traffic was reopened to vehicles at about 7:30 p.m.

Officially, CBI spokesperson Susan Medina said that while she had received questions from the Crested Butte News, “I cannot provide answers to these at this point. Because this remains an active investigation, there are elements of the case that are still being investigated and cannot be released at this time. As soon as information is available, it will be released.”

Gunnison County sheriff Rick Besecker said the investigation was being handled by the state and he too could provide no detailed information. “My agency was not involved as the event unfolded and we were not primary on the scene,” he wrote in an email response to questions. “All information that I or my officers have is hearsay at best. We did not investigate the incident or interview the witnesses. Our primary function was as security agents for the scene until CBI could process the area. Although I have an officer who is associated with the 7th Judicial Critical Incident Team—we are still not directly involved with the investigation.”

Sgt. Boden has been with the State Patrol since 2005. He was placed on paid administrative leave per policy.

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