GREELEY, Colo. — An officer with the LaSalle Police Department has been cleared of criminal charges after being involved in a deadly shooting of an off-duty Adams County sheriff’s deputy who led authorities on a high-speed chase in January.
A Weld County grand jury declined to issue an indictment against LaSalle Police Officer Caroline Persichetti after concluding the actions she took during the January 16 incident — in which Persichetti shot and killed Adams County sheriff’s deputy Jesse Jenson — were justified.
The grand jury investigation found that the plain-clothed deputy ignored Persichetti’s commands as he aggressively approached the LaSalle officer while concealing his left hand, according to the report.
The 41-year-old deputy died of a gunshot wound to the head two days after the shooting that occurred near 42nd Street and Highway 85 after a high-speed pursuit. Jenson had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.073 at the time of the incident, according to an autopsy report.
According to the grand jury report, the pursuit began in Fort Lupton by police after complaints that a driver of a Jeep Liberty was driving recklessly. At some point during the chase, Jenson, driving a Toyota 4Runner, began following the pursuit and continued following the Liberty even after Fort Lupton police backed off.
Jenson continued chasing the Liberty into the town of LaSalle, swerving at the Jeep and forcing the Liberty off the road near where Persichetti was staged. She testified that witnessing this action made her believe that the occupants of the Patriot were the victims of the aggressive driver.
The Jeep took off, and Jenson stopped and exited his vehicle abruptly while ignoring commands from Persichetti to stop, according to the report. Persichetti told grand jurors that she shot Jenson because she could not see his left hand, believing he had a gun. Investigators later found he was unarmed.