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Officer-involved shooting in Fort Lupton leaves one dead

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By Sean Kennedy

Editor's note: A Fort Lupton police officer is on admiistrative leave, pending the results of an investigation into an officer-involved shooting from Jan. 16.

The 19th Judicial Critical Incident Response Team is handling the investigation. THe team is looking for information. Call Cmdr. Sanchez with the Johnstown Police Department (970-587-2216) or Sgt. Bollig with the Greeley Police Department (970-371-3932).

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Sirens blare. animals cry from their yards. A news helicopter circles overhead as nearly a dozen police and emergency vehicles from Fort Lupton, Dacono, Hudson and Weld County filter in and out of the area.

The neighborhood described by residents as older and quiet is anything but as Fort Lupton officers investigate the scene of an officer-involved shooting.

The incident purportedly happened shortly before 2:30 p.m. in the 100 block of Ninth Street, close to the Platte River. According to the Weld County Sheriff's Office, Fort Lupton officers were involved in a shooting after responding to a disturbance in the 600 block of 14th Street in Fort Lupton. 

Television station KMGH said the victim apparently didn't pull over for a traffic stop. Police asked for a medical helicopter and performed CPR on the person, but the adult male suspect, 46-year-old Shawn Joseph Billinger, of Fort Lupton, was declared dead at the scene.

According to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, the officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Fort Lupton Police Department pending the outcome of the investigation.

"I saw a beige van speed past my back door going west and then, not too long after, a cop chasing him," said witness Dominique Luna. "Then there were multiple cops around the blocks. I could hear the sirens. When I went outside, they were all at the dead end of Ninth Street on the west side."

Many of the neighborhood's residents that were home ventured outside to see what all the noise was about. 

"I was in the basement and didn't hear anything, but then I came outside," Ron Schuyler, a lifelong resident of Fort Lupton said, "This is more cop cars than I've ever seen in one place in Fort Lupton." 

The names of the officer involved has not yet been released. The investigation is ongoing and we will update the article with more details as we get them.