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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.

 

 


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