RIFLE, Colo. — A red flag petition was filed and approved in Garfield County after a police officer with the Kersey Police Department allegedly threatened to kill himself, his ex-wife and their two children.
On April 24, Rifle Police Department Chief Tommy Klein filed an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) — thanks to the red flag law, which went into effect in Colorado Jan. 1 — against 36-year-old Brian Matthew Dominguez of Rifle.
The filing was a response to an incident that began late in the evening on April 23 at Dominguez’s home on Moki Avenue.
Klein gathered information from Dominguez’s ex-wife, who lives with him, for the ERPO.
According to the order, around 11 a.m. April 23, Dominguez became agitated because a fellow police officer had accepted a job with a different agency. He argued with his ex-wife for some time before she left for work, leaving their two juvenile children at home with him. When she arrived home later that day, she said he appeared calmer.
Later that evening, she noticed him drinking rum “at a rapid pace,” according to the ERPO. The ex-wife told Klein that Dominguez doesn’t drink alcohol often, but he finished half a handle of Captain Morgan and was very drunk.
They argued for some time before he grabbed a pistol and put it in his mouth, according to the ERPO. At this point, the children woke up and when they entered the room, Dominguez put the pistol in his back pocket, the ex-wife told Klein.
She said she tried to leave with the children as Dominguez walked around the house with the gun in his mouth. He said he’d “do it” if she left, and that he’d kill her and the children if she called police, according to the ERPO.
As the mother and children started to leave, Dominguez said they’d better take the family dog too if they wanted to see it again, so one of the children ran upstairs to get the dog. While she was upstairs, Dominguez, who was standing at the top of the stairs, point the gun toward the ceiling and fired one shot in the air, according to the ERPO. As the young girl tried to go back downstairs, he grabbed her. The mother went up, was able to get ahold of the girl, and left the house with the children and dog, according to the ERPO.
She then called the Rifle Police Department around 11:50 p.m., according to the ERPO.
As she drove away from the house, she ended up passing police officers responding to the incident on the highway and both stopped, according to an affidavit for Dominguez’s arrest. According to the affidavit, it appeared that she had been crying. Both children were in the car. She told officers Dominguez “was going crazy” and said he wanted to shoot himself in front of her and the children, according to the affidavit. Police instructed her to drive to the police station, where she met with Klein.
While talking with him, she gave him a few bullets she was able to grab when Dominguez unloaded his gun at some point, according to the ERPO. She said he had many firearms in the home.
According to the ERPO, the order was issued because of the following criteria:
· There had been a recent act or credible threat of violence by the respondent against himself or others
· The respondent owns, has access to, or intends to possess a firearm
· There has been a credible threat of, or the unlawful use of, a firearm by the respondent
· The respondent is required to possess, carry or use a firearm as a condition of his current employment
As a result, the ERPO was issued on April 24 at 1:37 p.m. It is set to expire on May 6 at 9 a.m. According to the ERPO, Dominguez was ordered to surrender all firearms.
He was arrested on multiple charges including felony menacing, child abuse, recklessly discharging a firearm and reckless endangerment.
According to Kersey Police Chief David Gottschalk, Dominguez was terminated from his position with the police department on April 27. Dominguez had worked with the police department’s patrol division since February.
Before working as an officer in Kersey, he worked in the police force in New Castle. There, he’d been arrested on domestic violence charges that involved his ex-wife.