LOVELAND, Colo. — The Loveland Police Department released body-worn camera video Wednesday from the officer who shot a man who is intellectually disabled and was armed with a knife.
The shooting happened Aug. 16 in the 1600 block of Tennessee Street in Loveland.
In the 911 call released by the department, Judy Domina, the man’s grandmother and legal guardian, calls to request assistance for 19-year-old Alex Domina, who she says is having a mental breakdown and causing destruction inside her home. Judy Domina told the dispatcher Alex Domina recently came to live with her after being institutionalized for years.
She said he got upset because she asked him to do his chores.
“He’s a danger to himself and us,” Judy Domina said to the dispatcher.
His grandmother said he hadn't hurt anybody and initially did not have any weapons. When asked if he’d be cooperative with police when they arrived, Judy Domina said he probably wouldn’t be. Later in the call, she told the dispatcher he had picked up a knife.
“Please, please handle him with care. He… it’s mental health,” Judy Domina said.
When the officer, who the department identified as Officer Eddie Luzon, arrived on scene, the body-worn camera shows him entering the backyard of the home and Alex Domina can be seen further back holding a knife. Luzon asks Alex Domina how he is doing and to put the knife down. Alex Domina can be heard multiple times saying “I ain’t going back.”
After he pulls down patio furniture, he begins to move towards the officer. Luzon draws his weapon and orders Alex Domina to stay back and not to come near him multiple times. The video shows Alex Domina then lunging towards Luzon, who fires his gun approximately four times.
The video released by the department, which may be disturbing for some, can be viewed here.
Following the release of the video, the family's attorney, Mari Newman, released a statement:
"Alex’s family was able to view the video just minutes before it was released to the public. It was excruciatingly difficult to watch. This tragic outcome highlights the need for first responders with mental health training for calls like this. Alex has undergone five surgeries so far, and remains in critical condition. Alex’s family appreciates the community’s continued support as Alex fights for his life."
During a demonstration Sunday, people gathered outside the Loveland Municipal Building Sunday to demand the department change how it responds to mental health situations. Newman told Denver7 Alex Domina's family is having a hard time dealing with his condition.
"Alex's family is definitely struggling. His brother is also disabled, and he's having a very hard time, and the family has just been going back and forth, to and from the hospital trying to continue to take care of Alex and take care of his brother,” Newman said Sunday.
Luzon, who has been with the department since 2019, is currently under paid administrative leave, per department policy.
The 8th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team is investigating with the Fort Collins Police Services leading the agency.
According to Chief Bob Ticer, once CIRT completes its investigation, an administrative or internal investigation will follow.