Mom: “He is deaf. He would not have heard any commands from the police.”
BY AARON LECLAIR • SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2012
LARAMIE, WY — A local man who was reportedly shot four times for allegedly assaulting a Laramie Police Department (LPD) officer last week is conscious and recuperating in a Colorado hospital.
Kevin R. Cook, 26, of Laramie, was shot sometime after 11 p.m. Aug. 15 for allegedly assaulting one of two LPD officers who were in the 400 block of South 22nd responding to a call of an auto burglary.
Following the shooting, Cook was taken by ambulance to Ivinson Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo., where he underwent surgery.
Currently, he is recuperating in the post-trauma unit, a center spokesman said.
Cook’s mother, Susan Cook, of Point Richmond, Calif., said she spent the weekend at the center while her son was unconscious and in serious-but-stable condition.
In emails and a short telephone interview this week, Susan Cook said Kevin Cook was taken off the ventilator and was conscious and communicative when she last saw him on Sunday.
He was shot four times, Susan Cook said.
“One bullet went through his right thigh. One shattered his left femur; it is now pinned in three places,” she said. “One (bullet) went through both right and left lungs, causing one to collapse. One ricocheted around in his pelvis, rupturing his spleen and tearing an artery. Two sections of his small (intestine) and two sections of his large intestine were removed.
“He was gravely injured and nearly died,” she added. “He will be in the hospital for quite some time.”
Last week, LPD spokesman Cmdr. Mitch Cushman confirmed early reports that Kevin Cook is hearing impaired.
But Cushman could not say if Kevin Cook is partially or totally deaf.
However, Susan Cook confirmed that her son is totally deaf.
“He is deaf. He would not have heard any commands from the police,” she said. “And the moment he speaks, anyone can figure out that he is either deaf, has cerebral palsy or has brain damage.”
Susan Cook also said her son refutes what has been reported about the details of the alleged assault.
Instead of approaching the officers and assaulting one of them with a weapon (a crowbar, according to rumors), she said Kevin Cook was attempting to fight another man when one of the officers intervened.
“He stated that he did not have a crowbar,” she said. “He intended to strike a heavy-set man who was talking on a cell phone, but when the officer tried to break of (sic) the fight, he was struck instead.”
Susan Cook questioned why the police — who outnumbered her son two to one — did not use non-lethal means to subdue her son such as mace, pepper spray or a Taser gun.
However, while she is upset, Susan Cook said she is not making excuses for Kevin Cook’s behavior on the night of Aug. 15.
“I am not making excuses for him, but the use of lethal force was not justified,” she said. “I respect law enforcement officers and usually side with them, but this is clearly a case of excessive force.”
DCI: Officers cleared to return to full duty
A release from the Laramie Police Department (LPD) says that while officers were interviewing the victims of an auto burglary in the 400 block of South 22nd shortly after 11 p.m., Aug. 15, the suspect in the burglary, Kevin R. Cook, exited the nearby apartment building and headed in the direction of the officers.
The officers issued both verbal and nonverbal warnings for Cook to stop and show his hands, the release that Cook brought up a weapon in a threatening manner and continued to advance toward the officers.
It was at this time, the release says, one of the officers fired at Cook, wounding him. Cook continued his advance on the officers with the weapon, identified as a 24-inch iron pry bar. Cook threw the pry bar, striking one of the officers in the head.
While at Ivinson Memorial Hospital (IMH), the officer got 13 stitches and staples on his forehead and scalp area.
Cook was transported to IMH for treatment of gunshot wounds and was later transferred to a Colorado hospital where he is currently listed in stable condition, the release says.
The LPD was informed Monday that the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) agents who were conducting an outside investigation had concluded the onsite investigation into the officer-involved shooting. The preliminary findings showed “that the Laramie officers acted within the scope of their duties and according to the law.”
Final reports from DCI will be completed in four-six weeks. At that time, they will be turned over the Albany County Attorney’s office for review. Additionally, the release says, arrest warrant affidavits were submitted for Cook.
“Charges presented to the Albany County Attorney’s Office include three counts: Aggravated assault on a peace officer, arson and auto burglary,” the press release says. “The officers involved in the incident, Officer Taun Smith and Officer Josh Anderson, have been cleared to return to full duty after being placed on customary administrative leave associated with an officer involved shooting. Officer Smith was the only officer to have fired his weapon, but Officer Anderson was involved in the call as well,” the release says.
Source: Laramie Boomerang
See Also: Press Release, Laramie Police Department