LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Questions remain after police shot a suspect at a pizza restaurant in Loveland, who officers say was threatening a customer with a knife. Key details have yet to be confirmed, including if the suspect was actually holding a knife or how many.
An investigation is now underway to see if those officers had the right to shoot to kill.
The incident began with a report of a man throwing a bicycle into traffic Monday night. Officers responded and William Rippley ran into the kitchen of a Pizza Ranch restaurant.
Loveland Police Officer Jennifer Hines shot and killed Rippley, 45, inside the restaurant. It was how she reacted when he reportedly grabbed a patron while holding a knife.
A minute before the shooting, Hines and a male officer on the scene are heard over the police radio that Rippley appears to be armed.
But police could not confirm in a press conference if Rippley was actually holding a weapon at the moment of the shooting.
Employees would not comment on what they saw. Pizza Ranch General Manager Andrew Bloemendall, who was not there when the shooting happened, was told that Rippley didn’t appear to have a weapon.
“Nobody said anything about seeing a weapon on him. There was talk of him being fidgety and herky jerky. There wasn’t anything they could specifically point to as being an issue,” he said.
The question surrounding that weapon still hasn’t been answered. Hines has been placed on administrative leave as investigators determine if her use of lethal force was justified.
She has been a member of the police department for a decade. Police could not comment on details of her record with the department. Two other officers involved in the incident were also placed on leave.