Jury finds man guilty in 2019 Fort Lupton officer shooting

Posted at 1:05 PM, Feb 24, 2022

DENVER — A Weld County jury found the man who shot at two Fort Lupton police officers, seriously injuring one, guilty on Wednesday.

Matthew Cotter was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder after deliberation, one count of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury, two counts of first-degree assault involving threatening a peace officer with a weapon and one count of attempted first-degree assault with a deadly weapon for the Dec. 2, 2019 incident.

Fort Lupton police Sgt. Christopher Pelton was one of the officers who responded to a call that Matthew Cotter, who was 19 at the time, had showed up to his ex-girlfriend’s home in the 200 block of Ponderosa Place and threatened to kill himself. Cotter was hiding behind a neighbor’s fence and shot at officers at least three times, according to court documents, hitting Pelton in the face.

Pelton injuries included lost teeth and a shattered jaw, and he had to undergo multiple surgeries at Swedish Medical Center in Denver before being released from the hospital nearly a month later.

After shooting Pelton, Cotter took off running, but officers returned fire. Cotter was seriously injured, but released from the hospital several days later.

The Weld County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday the jury convicted Cotter on “numerous charges” on Wednesday. He faces 48 to 96 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, the DA’s office said.