Christian Glass Shooting: Clear Creek sergeant who OK’d breaking car window, but was not at the scene, asks for his charges to be dropped

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A bouquet of flowers rests by a stone at the Silver Plume site where Christian Glass called for help from his stranded vehicle 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. There was a vigil on Wednesday evening, Sept. 20, 2022, in Idaho Springs for Christian Glass.

The former Clear Creek County sheriff’s sergeant who was charged with multiple crimes in the death of Christian Glass is asking for his charges to be dismissed because he wasn’t on duty and was not on the scene the night Glass was shot and killed.

Prosecutors have said that Sgt. Kyle Gould, who was a supervisor to the deputy who fired the fatal shot, gave the order for officers that night to break Glass’s car windows and forcibly remove him from the car.

Gould is charged with second-degree murder, negligent homicide and reckless endangerment in this case. Both he and former Deputy Andrew Buen have been fired from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office.

Buen ultimately shot and killed Glass, who had called 911 for help after getting his car stuck on some rocks last June. Glass refused to get out of his own car when officers arrived, saying he was scared. He then offered to throw his geology equipment — a knife and two rocks and a rubber mallet — out of the car window but officers said no and said they wanted him to get out of his vehicle instead.

Buen, who was first on the scene that night with his then-partner Tim Collins, at one point called his supervisor, Gould, who was at home, for advice after Glass continually refused to get out of the car, court filings said. Gould could remotely watch the body camera footage from his home.

That conversation was muted from the body camera footage, according to the indictment, but apparently Gould gave him the OK to forcibly remove Glass from the car.

Gould’s attorneys said, though, that statement isn’t entirely true, that Gould said they should break the car windows only if every other option was exhausted.

“Mr. Gould responded based on what he knew,” his lawyers said in a Jan. 24, 2023, filing. “He gave the best advice he could based on what he knew and the situation explained to him.”

Gould was en route to the scene when Glass was ultimately killed, according to court documents.

“The people have charged Mr. Gould with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. This despite the fact that he was not working the night of June 11, 2022,” the filing said. “Mr. Gould had no active role whatsoever in this incident.”

Gould’s attorney Christopher Brousseau told Judge Catherine Cheroutes on Monday that allowing this case to proceed would set a dangerous precedent for law enforcement in Colorado.

“If someone who gives advice to police officers based on the information they’re given could be charged with a crime,” he said. “This would be tantamount to a Clear Creek sergeant saying go ahead, you can engage in a chase on I-70 and someone dies.”

Cheroutes said she plans to issue a written ruling on Gould’s request.

Buen’s attorney also noted she would file a motion to dismiss charges, too, but she hasn’t done that yet. 

Meanwhile, prosecutors filed another motion requesting that both Gould and Buen be tried together since they both face second-degree murder and negligent homicide charges.

Outside of the courtroom in Georgetown, Glass’s parents, Simon and Sally, said they were disappointed that the officers involved were “ducking” responsibility.

“Seven months since this has happened, and we saw today that they’re trying to get out of this, they’re saying no, it wasn’t me, I wasn’t involved … which is hard for us to take because that’s what we’ve seen the whole time is ducking responsibility,” Simon Glass said. “We hope that justice will prevail sooner rather than later.”