Affidavit: Colo. suspect tried shooting self before deputy

Officer Derek Geer was trying to arrest the suspect on charges of violating probation in a sex-assault case


Associated Press

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A homeless teenager charged with killing a Colorado sheriff's deputy told investigators he tried but failed to shoot himself before turning the gun on the officer, according to court documents released Tuesday.

An arrest warrant affidavit said 17-year-old Austin Patrick Holzer told police he had been in jail before and didn't want to return when Mesa County Deputy Derek Geer tried to arrest him on a parole violation, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported.

Holzer tried to shoot himself as he and Geer struggled, but the gun didn't fire, the affidavit quotes Holzer as saying. He then pointed the gun at Geer and fired, the document says.

Holzer is charged with murder and other counts in the Feb. 8 shooting death of Geer, a married father of two.

Holzer was originally charged as a juvenile, but the district attorney's office refiled the charges to prosecute him as an adult, the Sentinel reported.

Geer was trying to arrest Holzer on charges of violating probation in a sex-assault case.

Geer, who was buried Monday, was praised as a man committed to his family, job and community. So many people wanted to attend his church funeral that it was live-streamed at six other locations.

At a ceremony in the state Capitol in Denver on Tuesday, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said she was impressed by the outpouring of support for Geer and other officers.

"I saw all the emotion and family grief at the funeral of this law enforcement officer. But I also saw the immense sense of pride in what he did and all officers do," she said. "There's a small number who have shown they don't respect law enforcement. But thepeople from other cities, the handmade signs, the honor and respect — that is how the vast majority of people feel for what law enforcement does."

Holzer was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday in Geer's slaying.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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