Oct 152008
Authors: J. David McSwane

Citing what it determined to be a clear case of self defense, the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office announced earlier this week that charges will not be filed against the suspect of last month’s shooting outside a house party near campus.

Cody Bettcher, the 25-year-old suspect in the shooting that took place near the intersection of Myrtle and Grant streets, was taken into custody Sept. 14 after shooting Denver man Derek Patterson, 24, in the shoulder.

At about 1 a.m. that Sunday, Bettcher dropped off his sister, 19-year-old Shawna Bettcher, at a house party where she was confronted by “several intoxicated males,” including Patterson, according to a press release.

Witnesses say Patterson attempted to assault his sister, the release said, which prompted Bettcher to pull out the pistol, for which he has a concealed weapons permit, and threaten Patterson.

Patterson then confronted Bettcher and punched him in the face, at which point Bettcher struck Patterson with the butt of the gun and accidentally fired, according to the release.

“Appearing to act in self defense, Cody Bettcher struck Derek Patterson with the gun he was holding, which caused the gun to accidentally discharge,” the release said.

Bettcher, a trained paramedic, then administered first aid to Patterson and called 911.

But in an interview with the Collegian last month, Patterson said the shots were deliberate.

“It’s pretty hard to shoot at someone twice and have that be an accident,” Patterson said.

“He shot me from like five feet away . I remember looking at the barrel, and then he shot me. It was no accident.”

Patterson was “vulgar and uncooperative” with police, the release said.

Enterprise Editor J. David McSwane can be reached at tips@collegian.com.

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