Deputies Suspended In Shooting Of Keg At Teen Party

Parents Say Park County Deputies Endangered Kids With Gunfire At Underage Bash

The Park County undersheriff says he has suspended two deputies after accusations they shot at a beer keg while breaking up an underage party in the woods.

A third deputy, a reserve, was going to be suspended on Friday, Undersheriff Monte Gore said.Two full-time deputies were suspended on Tuesday.

"I'm deeply disappointed," Gore told 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn.

"Let me just say, as a husband and a father, I've got a 5 year old and an 8 year old, and I'm sure at sometime those kids are going to be at a party," Gore said. "And if I had reports that a deputy discharged a firearm at that party, I would be furious. I would be steaming."

"It was one, one two. It was consecutive. It wasn't spread out," said one student who didn't want to be identified.

The investigation began after parents complained that deputies shot at a keg after catching the teens drinking last weekend in a remote area of the Pike National Forest.

One parent told 7NEWS more than one deputy fired shots in an effort to break a chain the teens had used to secure the keg to a tree or a fence.

"There was no reason to try and try to take down a keg with a gun. Chain cutters, wire cutters maybe," said the student.

Gore said he's doing an internal affairs investigation in possible misconduct by the deputies, and he has asked the Teller County Sheriff's Office to conduct an independent investigation into potential criminal actions during the shooting incident.

"We don't investigate our own people because that would be a conflict of interest," Gore said. "We take this very seriously, and I can assure everyone we are going to do the right thing."

Gore said the teens attend Woodland Park High School. Several of the partygoers were ticketed for being minors in possession of alcohol, he added.

"I mean we were just going to have fun. The cops had to take their job a little seriously. But in the end they got suspended. So an even situation I'd say," said another student.

Parents of teenagers who attended the party told 7NEWS they thought the deputies' actions were reckless.

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