Former Commerce City, Colorado, police officer Kevin Lord, who lied about being shot by a suspect last year, won’t do any jail time.
Instead, the judge sentenced Lord to three years probation on May 20, 201,6 after he entered a guilty plea to staging his own shooting, claiming he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following a number of concussion he had received over the years. In addition, Lord will have to perform 500 hours of community service and undergo mental health evaluation. And as a further condition of his probation, Lord will be banned from ever being a police officer again.
He had been facing three years in jail.
The bizarre story began last November, when then Officer Lord claimed he was shot in the chest when he approached a suspicious vehicle on a traffic stop.
He was alone on patrol early the morning of Nov. 8 when he reported seeing a maroon Nissan Pathfinder in the 9700 block of Peoria Street that he considered to be suspicious. According to an arrest affidavit, Lord radioed that he was going to stop and check out the vehicle. About two minutes later, he radioed “shots fired.” He also said he’d been shot once in “the vest,” according to the affidavit. Dispatchers could hear gunfire while his microphone was keyed.
When the first officer arrived, he found Lord kneeling down in front of his patrol car, holding his chest. At that point, Lord described the Nissan pickup and provided a couple of possible license plate numbers, and he said the gunman had fled south on Peoria Street and then east on 96th Avenue, according to the affidavit.
Later, at a hospital, Lord told a detective the man in the Nissan reached out the driver’s window and fired a single shot at him, according to the affidavit. Lord told the detective that he then stepped back two or three feet and “might have gone to his knees to catch his breath as the vehicle slowly pulls away,” according to the affidavit.
That’s when Lord said he fired five rounds at the truck and may have hit it in the tailgate.
Lord gave a detailed description of the man: white, in his 40s or early 50s, with brown hair, a thin build and glasses. Ultimately, detectives brought in a sketch artist who produced a detailed composite drawing that was made public at the same time a $20,000 reward was offered.
He even went so far as to identify a suspect from a photo lineup, telling investigators that he was 90 percent sure it was the man in the photo, encouraging officers to arrest him, which sparked a massive manhunt for the “alleged” cop shooter.
However, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation linked a shell casing found along the road where Lord reported being shot and a bullet recovered from his vest to his .40-caliber “backup” gun.
Faced with the evidence against him, five days after the alleged shooting, Lord confessed to having fabricated the whole thing and to using his backup gun to shoot himself in his ballistic vest.
The 52-year-old cop was charged with one felony count of attempting to influence a public official and one misdemeanor count of false reporting in the incident.
Even though he had confessed after police found multiple discrepancies in his story, he pleaded not guilty to those charges in March of this year. He then accepted a plea deal where he pleaded guilty to one count of felony tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge of false reporting.
Yet this was not the first time Lord was suspected of having staged an attack on himself.
In 2013, he claimed to have been injured after being attacked when he confronted a burglar at a house under construction, and was awarded the Purple Heart along with $10,864.53 for 38 days he was on injury leave.
And in 1998, Lord also was awarded a Purple Heart after he was allegedly attacked by a man as he responded to a report of a loud party. Lord was a Thornton Police Officer at the time, and in that case an actual arrest was made. The man accused of attacking Lord was convicted of multiple counts of assault and resisting arrest and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is still behind bars and is eligible for parole in September.