Trooper Matt Lasater
On March 24, 2009 at approximately 1600 hours the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force (RMSSTF) requested the assistance of the Colorado State Patrol in locating Mr. Brian Patterson, a homicide/kidnapping suspect out of Aurora. Patterson was suspected of killing his soon-to-be ex-wife and taking their two young girls who were at substantial risk of injury from their father. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert for the two missing girls, and Patterson was considered armed and dangerous.
Initiating a cell phone analysis and his cell phone toll records, members of RMSSTF developed several leads immediately. By 2030 hours it was learned that the vehicle Patterson was driving was equipped with LoJack and the signal was activated. At approximately 2100 hours that evening, the LoJack signal was detected in the area of 120th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. Several troopers along with the Thornton Police Department and RMSSTF responded to the area. Trooper Matt Lasater observed the suspect’s vehicle turning west onto 100th Avenue from Colorado Boulevard. He caught up to the vehicle, followed and awaited cover. A Thornton police unit and another RMSSTF unit arrived as Trooper Lasater initiated a high-risk felony stop. The suspect slowly pulled over to the right and stopped. A few seconds later the suspect fired a shot and the driver’s side window shattered. Due to the heavy window tint and darkness of the night, officers on scene could not see inside the vehicle. Immediately after the shot was fired, Corporal Dan Thompson arrived and deployed his rifle, covering the driver’s side of the vehicle. Trooper Lasater gave verbal commands on his public address system to the driver and to the two girls while officers could see what appeared to be two small children moving around in the back of the vehicle.
After a short time a contact team formed consisting of Trooper Lasater and others, making a tactical approach to the passenger side of the vehicle, utilizing a ballistic shield. The passenger side window was breached, and entry was made into the vehicle, removing the two girls. The suspect was seen slumped in the driver’s seat. The contact team then made a driver’s side approach and when the door was opened the suspect was observed with a self inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
During the crucial moments of the contact with the suspect, Trooper Lasater and other officers showed great restraint in not returning any gunfire. Keeping their composure during their approach to Patterson’s vehicle, Trooper Lasater and the other officers on scene are directly responsible for the safe recovery of the two young girls. The resolution of this extremely volatile situation is a tribute to all involved.