Colorado SpringsNews

Grand jury indicts Colorado Springs police officer in April shooting near airport

Author: Ellie Mulder, The Gazette - July 19, 2018 - Updated: July 19, 2018

Cars in the long-term parking lot at the Colorado Springs Airport in 2016. (The Gazette file photo)

COLORADO SPRINGS — A grand jury Wednesday unanimously indicted a Colorado Springs police officer in an April shooting in which no one was injured, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced.

Officer Gerald F. Bellow Jr., 53, was indicted on suspicion of attempted first-degree assault, a felony, and reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, the DA’s Office said. The shooting happened April 13 at 5750 Milton E. Proby Parkway, near the entrance to the Colorado Springs Airport.

It’s rare for officer-involved shootings to be investigated by a grand jury and even rarer for an officer to be indicted. The last time in El Paso County was in 2011, when a grand jury ruled police officer Nathan Jorstad, a nine-year veteran of the department, was justified in fatally shooting 22-year-old James Guy.

Bellow joined the Police Department in January 1991 and is currently assigned to the Colorado Springs Airport, said police spokesman Lt. Howard Black. Bellow was placed on paid administrative leave immediately after the indictment was announced, Black said.

The Airport Police Unit “oversees all law enforcement operations, except passenger screenings, for the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport,” the Police Department’s website says.

No information on the incident has been released. But a hit-and-run crash and then a shooting were reported near the airport that day.

At the time, Black said:

Two men invaded a home in the 1200 block of North Weber Street about 8:15 a.m., and at least one shot was fired. The men then stole the resident’s vehicle.

At 8:38 a.m., a hit-and-run collision was reported near Milton E. Proby Parkway and South Powers Boulevard. A vehicle, later identified as the stolen one, fled north.

One person from the other vehicle was hospitalized with injuries that weren’t life-threatening.

The stolen vehicle then crashed into a fence near the airport. As police approached, one man jumped out and pulled a weapon.

At least one shot was fired, Black said in April, declining to specify who fired it. No one was hit.

One of the men ran, and police chased and apprehended him. He was taken to a hospital with a cut to his tongue.

Police searched for hours west of the airport but didn’t know if the second suspect was ever there, Black said.

“As this is an open and pending case, no further information will be released,” the DA’s Office said in announcing the indictment.

Ellie Mulder, The Gazette

Ellie Mulder, The Gazette