Investigation exonerates Grand County Sheriff’s deputy who shot motorist
January 27, 2009
The Grand County Sheriff’s deputy who shot a motorist during an altercation along U.S. Highway 40 in Tabernash, Colorado, is back on the job.
“We will not be filing charges against Deputy Rooks,” said 14th Judicial District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham.
Oldham’s office was in charge of the investigation into the incident that took place last October. She said investigators found that Deputy Rochalle Rooks’ “use of force … was reasonable and necessary.”
The shooting left David Christopher North (aka Christopher David Dalgarn), 23, of Granby, at least temporarily paralyzed following surgeries in Denver.
“I am anticipating filing charges against him,” Oldham said of North. She said specific charges will be determined pending completion of an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
The incident that led to North’s shooting occurred on the evening of Oct. 6. In what he reported was an effort to protect the safety of other motorists during a high-speed chase, Deputy Rooks rammed his patrol car into North’s vehicle. Both men then exited their vehicles, and the ensuing confrontation resulted in Rooks shooting North multiple times.
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Deputy Rooks was placed on administrative leave immediately after the incident, which is standard procedure, and he was assigned to “light administrative tasks” in November.
“As of today, he was put back on the road,” Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson said of Rooks.
“I still feel terrible about what happened,” he added. “Sometimes … you really can’t change what happened.”
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