Three Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been cleared in the fatal shooting of a Fort Collins man near Crossroads Boulevard and Centerra Parkway in Windsor last year.
Justin Anderson, 51, was shot and killed Nov. 21, 2022, following a vehicle pursuit. The Critical Incident Team investigated the shooting, and Gordon McLaughlin, district attorney for the 8th Judicial District, shared his decision in a letter dated Feb. 9 but released to the media Friday. In that letter, McLaughlin said the deputies involved in the shooting — Justin Napolitano, Jonathon Wedemeyer and Jaime Smith — were justified in their use of force and would not face any criminal charges related to the shooting.
Here’s what we learned from that letter about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, the investigation into it and McLaughlin’s decision. You can find the full letter at www.larimer.gov/da/critical-incident-response-team.
What led up to the Windsor shooting
According to McLaughlin’s letter, the incident leading up to Anderson’s shooting began when Napolitano was doing “proactive patrol” at the Love’s Travel Stop off the Berthoud exit of Interstate 25. The sheriff’s office provides contracted law enforcement services for the town of Berthoud, including the portions of the town that aren’t in Larimer County, such as where the Love’s Travel Stop is located.
McLaughlin noted that Love’s is “a common location for illicit drug transactions” and that Napolitano had made drug-related arrests there before. During his patrol, Napolitano saw a car pull up to an out-of-service gas pump and then move to another pump after the driver saw his patrol vehicle, McLaughlin wrote, adding that the car ultimately left without getting gas and the driver didn’t get out of the car before leaving.
McLaughlin said Anderson arrived as that vehicle was leaving, and he parked the gray Chevrolet truck he was driving