GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The sheriff of Grand County is talking for the first time since he shot a burglary suspect in September and since a grand jury decided the shooting was justified.

The scene of the shooting (credit: CBS)

The scene of the shooting (credit: CBS)

Sheriff Brett Schroetlin shot and wounded 20-year-old Conor James Maclaird on Sept. 15 after a robbery was reported at a liquor store in Tabernash.

“It’s been an extremely busy 2015 for the sheriff’s office,” said Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin. “We had one of our deputies die in a traffic accident. We had a drowning. We had a wildfire. And then we had our recent officer-involved shooting case.”

Schroetlin said the suspect pulled a knife so he opened fire, striking Maclaird several times.

“Sometimes we have to respond to the threats that present themselves,” said Schroetlin.

The grand jury cleared the sheriff on Thursday but indicted Maclaird on charges of assault and theft.

CBS4's Matt Kroeschel interviews Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Matt Kroeschel interviews Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin (credit: CBS)

“We were open and transparent throughout this process and we appreciate the Grand Jury’s time and we appreciate our community’s involvement and support over the past few months,” said Schroetlin.

He said the hardest part was not being able to talk about it.

“We’re a very close knit community here in Grand County and people do want to hear from the sheriff when incidents like this happen. Unfortunately when you’re the one involved in incidents like this, there are processes in place and you’re not able to speak to different things and so that’s been tough, trying to stay behind the scenes,” said Schroetlin.

Tabernash (credit: CBS)

Tabernash (credit: CBS)

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