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Cops: CU Student Sam Forgy Was High on Acid, Armed With Hammer When Shot

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Update: A few hours after publishing our update about the death of Sam Forgy, who was killed by police officers in Boulder on Monday evening (see our previous reports below), we were contacted by a friend of his, who shared the photo above, added context for the image of him wielding an ax that was included in our earlier item, and shared some background information.

"While working toward a degree in applied mathematics, [Sam] was a math tutor," the friend writes. "He also worked on a couple of summer projects linked with NASA in which he, along with a team of other college students, launched weather balloons with various sensors and experimental materials into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Recently he was selected to be on a team investigating the plausibility of using something that essentially amounts to a tractor beam as a way of manipulating the paths of orbiting satellites."

As for the photo of Forgy with the ax, the friend points out that the image "was taken when Sam and his friends moved out of an apartment they were renting. They realized that it would be almost impossible to fit their couch out of the door, so they broke it apart to use it as firewood."

Continue for more about this tragic story.

Update, 5:55 a.m. July 29: Bizarre.

That's a good way to describe the only photo of Sam Forgy, the CU Boulder student killed by police late Monday night, that's publicly accessible on his Facebook page, on which he called himself "Sam Focking Forgy."

In the pic, on view below, he's seen wielding a large tool; it looks like an ax. And now, a Boulder police spokeswoman is saying officers opened fire at Forgy because he appeared ready to leap on them while armed with a different kind of tool — a hammer.

Our original post follows this update.

As we reported, police were called to an apartment at 1841 19th Street in Boulder at around 10:30 p.m. on a report of a man thought to be under the influence of LSD who was attacking others with a knife.

Upon their arrival, officers found an injured party who was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover.

As for the suspect, now identified as Forgy, a 22-year-old who was majoring in applied mathematics at CU Boulder, more details about what went down have been released, with the Boulder Daily Camera offering the most detailed roundup we've found.

The paper reports that officers encountered Forgy as they were climbing the stairwell to his apartment, on the second floor of the complex.

He was nude and holding a hammer.

The cops maintain that they repeatedly ordered Forgy to drop the hammer.

Instead, he allegedly climbed onto a railing, about fifteen feet off the ground.

Police feared Forgy was going to jump onto them with the hammer, the Daily Camera notes — so one officer tried to Tase him. When the Taser failed to fell Forgy, a second cop fired his gun, killing him.

The number of shots hasn't been specified to date; witnesses estimate that there were between three and five. Moreover, one person who heard the exchange said the shooting of the gun and the Taser were close to simultaneous.

The incident remains under investigation and the officer who killed Forgy is on paid administrative leave.

In the meantime, the shooting brings new attention to the question of how police deal with suspects who are under the influence of drugs or seem to be in psychological distress, as was Michael Habay, the last person previous to Forgy who was shot and killed by Boulder police; his death took place in 2013. A friend of Habay's told us the man was bipolar and "the Boulder PD and SWAT had been to Mike's place many times before in the past. The cops usually would wait him out for him to calm down and then take him to a 72-hour psych hold." But on that particular night, when he was armed with knife and a machete, they opened fire.

Look below to see the 2014 Facebook shot of Forgy with the ax (the caption reads, "Didn't feel like moving my couch"), plus a Fox31 report about the new developments, complete with a cheesy visual effect meant to simulate LSD use, and a Daily Camera video of featuring BPD spokeswoman Sarah Huntley sharing additional information. The clips are followed by our previous coverage.

Original post, 5:42 a.m. July 28: There have been no shortage of officer-involved shootings in the metro area of late.

Incidents include the gun-down of armed suspect Chisom Nwandilibe near 17th and Broadway and the April wounding of wanted identity thief Kyle "Twitch" Moore in Greeley.

Now, it's Boulder's turn.

Late last night, a Boulder police officer shot and killed a nude man thought to have seriously injured another person with a knife.

The address of the altercation is 1841 19th Street, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."

At around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, July 27, according to the Boulder Police Department, officers were dispatched in the wake of a 911 call.

The person who dialed told the operator that a man who was "high on LSD" had attacked occupants of the apartment with a knife.

He had then gone outside, where he was screaming.

Upon their arrival, they found a victim described as a 23-year-old man.

His injuries included a six-inch laceration to his forehead and a bite mark on his hand, the BPD reveals. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was in good condition at last report.

Meanwhile, the suspect was spotted as the cops made their way up the apartment stairwell. 

He was naked.

An officer reportedly deployed a Taser at that point, but it "failed to subdue the suspect," a department release states.

That's when the law-enforcer pulled out his service weapon and fired.

The bullet struck the suspect, who was declared dead at the scene.

Shortly thereafter, the media arrived, capturing the scene in images sent out via Twitter. Among the journalists represented were Fox31's Jim Hooley....

...9News' Colleen Ferreira....

...and CBS4's Rahel Solomon:

At this writing, questions remain, as is clear from BPD spokeswoman's Sarah Huntley's comments in a CBS4 piece on view below.

For one thing, we don't know if the suspect was armed at the time of his death.

The officer who fired the fatal shot has been with the Boulder Police Department since 2013.

He's been placed on paid administrative — standard procedure in cases like this one — pending a review of the incident by a multi-agency investigative team and analysis by the Boulder County District Attorney's Office.

The shooting is the fourth to involve a Boulder police officer since 2008. 

Among the previous shootings was the 2013 killing of Michael Habay, described as a knife-wielding man wearing body armor. Habay, too, was killed.

Thus far, the suspect in the latest case has not been named. He'll be identified by the Boulder coroner's office.

Continue for the aforementioned CBS4 report.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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