Last month's bust of 21-year-old Carousel Reed and others was reportedly part of an ongoing investigation into prostitution in Greeley. But a raid yesterday resulted in an unexpected and tragic outcome: a man described as a "customer" was gunned down by cops after allegedly producing a weapon.
Here's what we know thus far.
In October 2013, Reed made headlines when she and two other Coloradans, Rodger Dean and Nitaya Dennis, were arrested during a prostitution sting in Casper, Wyoming.
According to KTWO-AM, the trio weren't charged for prostitution-related offenses in part because Dennis, who is said to have advertised online as a paid escort, became "spooked" when interacting with an undercover officer. Instead, the trio faced charges related to marijuana possession.
Cut to late April, when Reed and two others -- Falon Taylor Dias, 26, and Robin Marie Hibler, 53 -- were cuffed in Greeley amid what the Greeley Tribune describes as "a coordinated investigation into Backpage.com, a website commonly associated with the offering of sexual services for cash." (The site was previously associated with Westword via the paper's parent company, but all connections between this publication and Backpage.com have been severed.)
At the time, a Greeley police spokesman said the investigation into prostitution operations was continuing and wasn't focused on a single motel or website.
This assertion forms the backdrop of an incident that took place shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday at a Greeley motel. The Greeley Police Department hasn't named the business, but the Tribune identifies it as the Comfort Inn at 2467 29th Street, where police activity was high last night. Among those said to have been on the scene was the Weld County coroner.
At the time of the incident, the Greeley Police Department reveals that officers were conducting "an undercover anti-prostitution operation" when an "adult male 'customer' of the undercover woman officer" pulled a handgun "on the team of uniformed arrest team officers."
This turns out to have been a fatal decision. The man was promptly shot and killed.
Neither the identity of the dead man nor the Greeley officers involved is being released at this time. However, the GPD notes that none of the cops were hurt.
The shooting is under investigation by members of the Weld County District Attorney's Office and the Greeley Police Department's Investigations and Professional Standards Unit.
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More from our News archive circa September 2013: "Video: Fourth recent officer-involved shooting targets burglar at detective's home."