CBI Requested to Investigate Officer-Involved Shooting in Trinidad

05/20/2019—The Trinidad Police Department (TPD) has requested that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigate an officer-involved shooting occurring in Trinidad in on May 19, 2019.

TPD officers responded to the Alta Convenience Store (305 State St.) on a call of a suspicious person on Sunday, just after 8:00 pm. As officers attempted to speak with Lawrence Lee Lovato (DOB: 09/27/1972), he entered his crew cab pickup truck and exited the parking lot, and began to drive erratically in the area.  

Lovato attempted to elude the TPD Officers and a Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office (LACSO) deputy who also responded to assist. The officers were able to stop the vehicle on the northbound ramp to I-25 at Main Street in Trinidad. Initial interviews indicate Lovato brandished a handgun and subsequently shots were fired by responding officers. Lovato was shot and later pronounced dead at the scene. There were no injuries to officers involved in the incident.

Three officers with the TPD and one deputy with the LACSO were placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, per policies of the agencies.

CBI agents are investigating the shooting, while CBI crime scene responders are processing the scene.

Once the investigation is complete, the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office will review the information to provide a determination of charges, if appropriate, or alternatively issue a public report regarding the use of deadly force pursuant to statute.