New Zealand and British governments ask for answers in Clear Creek County sheriff’s killing

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A photo of Christian Glass rests among flowers during a vigil for the late 22-year-old, on Wednesday evening, Sept. 20, 2022, in Idaho Springs. Glass called 911 for help from his stranded vehicle in Silver Plume in June 2022. Clear Creek County deputies responded to his call, and in a moment captured by officers’ body cameras, one deputy shot and killed the 22-year old man.

The New Zealand and British governments are asking for answers in the Clear Creek County investigation into the killing of Christian Glass, a 22-year-old Boulder resident who called for help after he got stuck on a mountain road.

Glass was a citizen of New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. His mother is from the UK and his father is from New Zealand. Glass was born in New Zealand but moved to the United States when he was 10 years old.

In letters to Clear Creek County District Attorney Heidi McCollum, state Attorney General Phil Weiser and U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan, leaders from the British and New Zealand consulates asked officials for answers to what happened in the Glass death.

“The New Zealand government takes the safety of New Zealand citizens overseas seriously, with interest and concern in situations where the safety of our citizens is jeopardized,” wrote Cherry Hankins, a senior consular officer. “We would be grateful for updates on the progress of this case, which we will use in the provision of consular services … and for reporting to New Zealand ministers.”

Eileen Dunne, a designated safeguarding officer for the British consulate, wrote, “It has come to our attention that Christian James Glass — a British national — has died in suspicious circumstances in Clear Creek County, Colorado. We take these types of cases extremely seriously — as we know you do. Supporting British nationals around the world is one of the UK government’s global priorities and in cases such as these we are required to regularly report to London with information on the progress of these types of cases.”

More coverage of the Clear Creek County deputies' shooting

In June, Glass was killed by a Clear Creek County sheriff’s deputy after he refused to get out of his car that was stuck on a mountain road. He called 911 for help with his car.

Glass had knives and a rubber mallet inside the vehicle for geology purposes. He offered to throw the knives out of the car, but deputies told him not to. 

For more than an hour, deputies tried to unsuccessfully get him out of the car. In the end, they broke his car windows and tased him and shot him with a bean bag gun. He was shot and killed holding a knife in the front seat. 

Clear Creek deputies say they feared he was going to stab an officer on the scene. The case is under investigation by McCollum.

McCollum said she responded to both national governments and offered to be a point of contact for any questions they may have. Neither Weiser nor Finegan commented on the letters.