New report provides chilling details about Park County shootout

Posted at 9:53 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 00:50:42-04

PARK COUNTY, Colo. -- The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has released a new report that provides chilling details about the Park County shootout that killed Deputy Nate Carrigan and injured two others.

The report is hundreds of pages long and includes photos and videos from the crime scene as well as audio recordings with the deputies who were there.

Deputies were serving a high-eviction warrant in February on Martin Wirth, a man who had previously threatened to kill police and had refused to leave his Bailey home.

Wirth shot three deputies, killing one, before he was shot and killed.

"Based on the intel that I had I figured, he may be physically combative," said Captain and SWAT Commander Mark Hancock during his recorded interview with CBI.

Hancock was shot in the ear during the shooting, and the report said he helped plan the operation.

"There had been talk about making it a SWAT call, but yeah know, they didn't really feel that it warranted a SWAT call," Hancock said in the interview.

He drew out their tactical plan on a whiteboard, which was shown in a photo in the report.

"I wanted Nate to breach if possible. He's a real big guy, played football for me," Hancock said in the recording.

Hancock said after Carrigan first made contact with the suspect, he went back inside and that's when Hancock started to worry, which led to his next decision.

"I don't know if I even got permission or not. I can't remember, but I told Nate to take the door. Nate took the door. I believe he kicked it a couple of times," Hancock said during his recorded interview. "Sometime in there massive amount of gunfire coming our way."

Video from the house showed shell casings all over the floor and bullet holes in the windows and the door deputies kicked in to get inside.

"He was evicted. [He] knew that he had the notice. Why didn't he leave?" Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener said.

Wegener stood up for his deputies while talking to Denver7 by phone.

"My deputies were heroes. My deputies did a very difficult job. They did what they were supposed to," Wegener said.

However, Carrigan's parents have a different opinion. They have threatened to sue, alleging the department didn't follow policy.

"There hasn't been a word of trust come from that man's mouth since, and we've heard nothing," Nate Carrigan’s father John Carrigan said.

"What do you want to say to Nate Carrigan's parents?" Denver7 reporter Jennifer Kovaleski asked Sheriff Wegener.

"Probably the biggest thing: forgive us," he said.

The report cleared all deputies of any wrongdoing, and no charges will be filed.

"I'm very proud of my folks," Wegener added.


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