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Colo. Agency Defends Officer Who Killed Knife-Wielding Man

November 26, 2013  | 

Boulder police officials on Monday defended the actions of the 14-year veteran who shot and killed Michael Habay, 42, saying the officer had reason to believe the knife-wielding suspect was about to stab him, the Boulder Camera reports.

Earlier that day, officers had received a call about the same address from the mother of one of the residents, Kirsten Stenseng, 41, who was worried about Stenseng's welfare. Stenseng answered the door and talked to police, who determined a crime hadn't occurred and left, officials said.

Police responded to a second call at 12:30 p.m. that said a man was stabbing a post with a machete and making threatening remarks. When they arrived no one was outside, but officers saw Stenseng's car and were concerned she might be in danger.

The officers formed an entry team and knocked on Habay’s door. There was no answer, so they entered.

Habay ran toward the first officer while holding a knife in each of his hands, officials said. The first officer inside, Nick Smetzer, was forced to deflect Habay with his ballistic shield, and Habay then ran toward Officer Vincent Gallerani, officials said. Gallerani fired three shots at close range, hitting Habay at least twice.

Habay was transported to Boulder Community Hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.

Stenseng later was found to be safe with a neighbor in a nearby apartment. Investigators reported finding threatening social media comments directed at Stenseng by Habay, including one saying he would kill her.



Tags: Knife Attacks, Boulder (Colo.) PD, Officer Involved Shootings

Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Lt. M.C. Williams @ 11/26/2013 6:41 PM

The Rep. of Boulder is an island of liberalism and by the comments the officers there are being raked over the coals. Use-of-force ignorance-is-bliss thinking but this sounds like a solid shoot (but that won't matter in Boulder). Praying for our brother officers.

Ima Leprechaun @ 11/29/2013 12:35 PM

Anyone with any self defense training will tell you a person with a knife is far more dangerous than someone with a gun. Anyone with a knife, axe or sword running at an officer can close that distance faster than most officers can draw a weapon, this is a highly dangerous situation for the officers and they acted correctly and well within their training.

PaCo @ 11/30/2013 8:01 AM

Hell yes he was justified to dump that jackass in the dirt, two knives in close confinement of an Apt. AND had been deflected when he attacked the shield man.

Only fools would question the actions of this officer and if they found statements that the dead man had a plan kill his mother it sounds like these officers saved her life as well.

k stenseng @ 11/30/2013 5:56 PM

It was not justified!!!!! I was there I saw! Kill someone who needs help?? Its all bs if u believe everything you read your a dumb ass. Mike was a very smart man not a junkie know what your saying before you speak! Think of the families involved. Give them space. He didbt try a kill his gf he would kill for her!!!! Theres a difference.

Johnny Law @ 12/2/2013 8:19 AM

Run at the police and try to stab them with two knives and you get shot! Either drug induced or mental. Good thing they got there before he killed innocent neighbors or family members! Stay safe my brothers and sisters! Oh yeah, if you were there "stenseng" and he was so innocent and harmless why didnt you take the weapons away before the officers arrived and were forced to shoot him?

Trigger @ 12/3/2013 5:36 AM

Like the old saying, don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Excellent job, glad you are safe.

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