Deputy cleared in New Year’s shootingA Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy involved in a New Year’s Day shooting in Gordon won’t face charges.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
A Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy involved in a New Year’s Day shooting in Gordon won’t face charges.
Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank determined that Lt. Christopher Hoyt was justified in using deadly force against 21-year-old Andrew L. Closson after Closson pointed a rifle at him along U.S. Highway 53.
“Upon review of all of the investigation, I conclude this was a legal self-defense case by Lt. Christopher Hoyt,” Blank wrote in a Thursday press release. “He was justified in using deadly force against Mr. Andrew Closson under the circumstances. He was faced with a deadly threat and responded reasonably in a manner consistent with his law enforcement training.
“I sympathize with Lt. Hoyt, his family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers for the aftermath of this life or death encounter,” Blank wrote. “I also express my sincere sympathies to Andrew Closson’s family and friends for their tragic loss.”
The incident started with a 911 call at 1:40 a.m. New Year’s Day for assistance to a family disturbance with shots fired at the Closson home in Gordon. Deputies responded and set up a perimeter, but Closson was able to escape the area through the back of the residence.
Hoyt, a law enforcement officer with 22 years of experience, was driving to the residence to assist when he saw a man apparently hitchhiking on the northbound shoulder of U.S. Highway 53 just north of Gordon. Hoyt pulled over, activated his lights, exited the truck and pointed his gun at the man, repeatedly ordering “Sheriff’s Department — show me your hands.” The hitchhiker, Closson, raised a long gun from next to his right leg, steadied the gun with his left hand and pointed it at Hoyt. The officer then shot three times, striking Closson.
According to the release, Hoyt recalled feeling that “He was either going to shoot me or I was going to shoot him.”