Dancing FBI Agent Who Shot a Man at a Denver Bar Won’t Do Jail Time

Pop quiz: How many months/years would the average American law-abiding gun owner have to spend in jail if he accidentally shot another person at a bar? Answer: none…if that gun owner also happens to be a FBI agent.

The FBI agent charged with accidentally shooting a man after doing a backflip on the dance floor at a Denver bar last summer will avoid jail time after pleading guilty Friday to third-degree assault.

Under his deal with prosecutors, Chase Bishop, 30, immediately was sentenced to two years probation. He was also fined $1,200 and ordered to pay restitution to the victim. Denver District Judge Karen Brody cited Bishop’s lack of criminal history in her decision to accept the plea agreement.

Maybe we’re incurably cynical, but if Joe or Jane Sixpack dropped a gun while busting a move on a honky tonk dance floor, and then negligently shot a bystander as they tried to pick it up, they’d be spending a not insignificant amount of their time in the local graybar hotel.

But this was a federal law enforcement agent.

“My whole goal in life is to care, protect and serve people,” Bishop told the judge on Friday. “I never expected the result of my actions to lead to something like this.”

So while Bishop’s name has been enshrined in our Irresponsible Gun Owner Hall of Fame right next to that of DEA agent Lee Paige, the news isn’t all bad. If he keeps his nose clean, Bishop may even have the term of his probation reduced.

Bishop, who was in Denver on FBI business when the incident occurred, will serve his probation in Georgia. (Denver District Judge Karen) Brody said she could be receptive to ending his probation after one year if Bishop complies with the terms.

“This is a tragic situation,” Brody said after she announced Bishop’s sentence. “It’s a lesson for everyone: How decisions, when you’re not being conscious of what you’re doing, decisions you make carelessly, with negligence, can turn into really serious consequences.

“I think in the future,” she said to Bishop, “you will never make that kind of mistake again.”

The FBI declined to say on Friday whether Bishop will continue to work for the agency. “It is our standard practice not to comment on personnel matters,” FBI spokeswoman Kelsey Pietranton said.

The nation’s top law enforcement agency continues to distinguish itself on an almost daily basis.




  1. avatar OBOB says:

    If I was that Judge….nope

    “you have 2 choices drunk buddy…jail 6 months.. LIFE RUINED—OVER FOREVER…or all your money…home, cars and work earnings for 5 years paid to whom you shot and they get to shoot you!”

    1. avatar Buff cousin Elroy says:

      Six months is too lenient, he needs to be convicted of a felony and do a year+

      1. avatar Clark Kent says:

        Do us all a favor and take a reading comprehension class. The agent made a deal with the PROSCECUTORS. So if you have an issue with the sentencing, take it up with the PROSCECUTORS. After all, THEY WORK FOR YOU. Of course, you are clueless on the matter because you probably never bothered to get off of your fat azz to bother to REGISTER to vote, much less cast a ballot.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          IANAL, but: In a plea deal, the prosecutors only recommend a sentence. The judge usually goes along with that recommendation, but doesn’t always because he/she is not bound by any such deal until after it’s accepted by the court.
          (For those who are thinking, “But, but…) If the prosecution drops the charges, the judge has no option but to end the trial. In such a case, the defendant is not found either guilty nor not guilty.
          So, yes, the complaint about the sentence applied is, indeed, with the judge.

    2. avatar GOaW says:

      And they get to shoot you? Thank goodness you’re not a judge. Probably shouldn’t have access to firearms either with that mentality.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Maybe TTAG should start using “tongue-in-cheek” labeling… just for you!

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      THEY DIDN’T EVEN FIRE THE GUY?????????………..unreal……….

  2. avatar Dog of War says:

    Well of COURSE he won’t do jail time. He’s a federal cop and they don’t operate under the same rules as a normal citizen. Frankly I’m surprised this even went to court at all. I guess he wouldn’t have, if there hand’t have been video.

    1. avatar Mike Dexter's a GOD says:

      They did fire him. Just not commenting on it publicly.

      And the dude he accidentally shot is being cool about it.

      No priors, upstanding citizen, military service, law enforcement service….he just did something dumb. Made a bad decision.

      Let the guy learn his lesson.

  3. avatar Mafic says:

    All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.


    1. avatar Kman says:


      LEO are given a benefit of doubt that the general public aren’t and I agree with that, to an extent.
      BUT, that also means the same [email protected]#k up should earn less tolerance than afforded the general public.
      He should have known better than the average person.
      Having the privileges that go with the badge and the expectation of knowledge and responsibility also mean the offenses are more egregious.

      1. avatar sparkyinWI says:

        Unfortunately the opposite is actually how it works though in our real world.

      2. avatar Whoopie says:

        Exactly, cops and politicians should be held to higher standards of accountability than average citizens. I favor doubling the penalties when they cross the line of responsible behavior. You took an oath and accepted the big pay, there should be consequences when you fail to live up to the standards we rightly expect of people in your position of authority.

  4. avatar No one of consequence says:

    I’m getting really sick of the anointed-ones dichotomy.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Then why don’t YOU become an FBI agent and show us all how it SHOULD be done? Put up or shut up.

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        Apparently it takes NOT being an FBI agent to know how NOT to negligently shoot somebody.

        That FBI agent… and YOU are the reason why respect for “law enforcement” is in the toilet.

        The defenders of bad cops sound uncannily like the defenders of Michael Brown.

        1. avatar Joseph says:

          Respect for law enforcement is far from in the toilet, depending on where you look. Get away from the TTAG toilet and it’s little band of cop haters and you’ll find respect for law enforcement is just fine.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Get away from the TTAG toilet and it’s little band of cop haters and you’ll find respect for law enforcement is just fine.”

          Cruising five “gun blogs” everyday seems to indicate that skepticism of police is rather common. And if it were absolutely only readers/commenters on TTAG who recognize the abuse of power and trust by so many LE agencies, it wouldn’t make them wrong.

          Cops know how to end the skepticism. Everything is in their court and power.

      2. avatar Big Bill says:

        There are literally thousands of people who have already done that.
        They are called FBI Special Agents.

      3. avatar Chris Morton says:

        Ya gotta love the Lon Horiuchi fan club…

  5. avatar Enuf says:

    With plenty of money to hire the best criminal defense law firm, just about anybody could get off this light. Of course “just about anybody” could never dream of having that much money.

    So he was lucky he was a cop. There is a presumption in the court of inherent goodness, of the wrongful thing that was done being much less because of who did it.

    So yeah, it kinda’ stinks.

  6. avatar RA-15 says:

    Mafic said exactly what I was thinking !!

  7. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    That won’t prevent him from being thought of a moron nor should it keep him from being sued.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I agree: the average person would be in jail for several months or more.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      I’m actually not so sure. There’s no statute in my state that makes accidentally firing a weapon a crime. I’m sure the DA would scour the books for something to charge you with though. No liability wise you could be paying out for the rest of your life, but criminal prosecution is a higher bar.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Now, not no. Where’s that damn edit button go?

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:


        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “There’s no statute in my state that makes accidentally firing a weapon a crime.”

          Good on ya’, mate.

          In my township, discharging a firearm (outside of a gun range) is a crime, regardless of the reason (like self-defense). Actually, any item capable of propelling an object is a firearm (we think mashed potatos flung by a spoon would qualify as criminal discharge).

      2. avatar Buff cousin Elroy says:

        Most cities have a “Discharge a firearm within city limits” criminal charge.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          True, but these usually incur a $300 fine, not prison time. And even then, depending on the municipality, they may not apply to unintentional discharges.

        2. avatar Rattlerjake says:

          I’m sure they could slap him with criminal negligence (The failure to use reasonable care to avoid consequences that threaten or harm the safety of the public and that are the foreseeable outcome of acting in a particular manner.). How stupid is it to have a gun stuck in your waiatband without a holster.

        3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Rattler, why do you hate Mexicans?

      3. avatar rt66paul says:

        How about having a gun in an establishment that serves alcohol. Had said “special agent” imbibed? Inquiring minds want to know.

    2. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Stick to predicting lottery numbers; you will have better luck.

  9. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

    the “us against them” strikes again..the leftist court system has a totally different out-look when it comes to one of their own.DRUNK AND DISORDERLY,CARRING A WEAPON IN A ESTABLISHMENT THAT SERVES LIQUOR, MIS-USE OF A FIREARM INVOLVING A DISCHARGE WITH BODILY INJURY. THE LIST CAN GO ON FOREVER, IF YOU ARE CIVILAN. with a cop, its o-shit it can happen to anybody, do not do it again…..

    1. avatar RGP says:


    2. avatar strych9 says:

      Carrying a gun in a bar is legal in Colorado. So is drinking while doing so provided that the person doesn’t reach or exceed a BAC of 0.08.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Same in IA, but carrying while intoxicated is the same as carrying without a permit, which is a misdemeanor, not a felony.

      2. avatar Bpaulyz1 says:

        I’m pretty sure his b.a.c was above stated legal limit. Was he brethalyzed?? Doubt it? Actually I’ll say it, no he wasn’t!

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          Quick! Notify the FBI YOU were a witness the agent was not given a breathalyzer test. THEY ARE WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU!

  10. avatar RGP says:

    Judge is a government employee. Prosecutor is a government employee, Defendant is a government employee. I think it used to be called “professional courtesy, but a better term would be “corruption.”

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Next flight to Canada departs in 10 minutes. You won’t be missed. Buh-bye!

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        So, anybody who challenges the divine right of drunken FBI agents to shoot peasants must leave the country?

        Consider this:

        NO, I REFUSE.

        Don’t like that? Try to do something about it.

        I’m your huckleberry.

  11. avatar Connie says:

    If you are the kind of person who thinks that this guy deserves jail time, I seriously question whether or not you would fit the definition of “a reasonable and prudent person.”

    It is common practice during sentencing or during the making of a plea deal to consider the criminal history and societal standing of the defendant. Yes, this man made a very stupid mistake, and yes, he is a federal agent empowered to carry a gun and enforce the law (who should have known better), but why should he get heavier sentencing than a criminal who commits an intensional felonious assault for an unintentional discharge while drunk?

    The man obviously has little to no criminal history, and has passed an extensive government background check, and from what we saw in the video, he is not “assaulting” anyone. An assault requires proof of intent, and it was obvious that he did not intentionally fire his gun at anyone. He did act recklessly, and fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Considering his actions and the outcome, is 2 years probation, a $1200 fine, and restitution to the injured party not a fair sentence, or are you guys on a witch hunt for a “dirty cop?” You sound like a bunch of antifa thugs, for Pete’s sake!

    Yes, they’re are some dirty cops out there that go around oppressing people, violating civil rights, talking women in their patrol cars, stealing from people, and maybe even intentionally shooting unarmed people, but there must not be many of them…. because this is the guy you want to make an example out of. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

    You guys sound like a bunch of Hillary supporters. Please, grow a pair.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      If I understand your comment correctly, you are missing the point of the article, and the responses: different law for authorities. Notwithstanding all the variations, the simple point is/was: any private citizen who had done the same thing would have been instantly arrested, kept in jail or forced to provide bail, tried, and sentenced to harsh punishment for being irresponsible while in possession of a gun (as it should be).

    2. avatar Nickel Plated says:

      “but why should he get heavier sentencing than a criminal who commits an intensional felonious assault for an unintentional discharge while drunk?”

      Noone is talking about criminals intentionally commiting assault. We just want the cops to live up to the same standards they enforce against us and be punished the same when they don’t. If it was anybody else, they would be in prison. Why does having a badge make him special?

      “and fortunately, no one was seriously injured.”

      I’m pretty sure the guy who got shot in the leg would like to argue that point.

      1. avatar Connie says:

        Regardless of your personal views, this is a fair sentence for someone, cop or not, with no criminal history who commits a crime of the “negligent” or “reckless” variety; at least it is where I come from.

        And no, a non-life-threatening gun shot wound to the leg is not a serious injury, legally. Unpleasant? Absolutely. However, if it is not going to cause the victim some permanent disability or disfigurement, than it is not considered “serious bodily injury.”

        The guy has certainly opened himself up to a civil lawsuit, in which the injured party could probably get a big payday, so there is that aspect of “justice” that he will have to deal with.

        The dummies around making claims that “his life should be ruined” and “he should lose his gun rights” sound exactly like the gun haters on that we are all constantly having to defend our gun rights from.

        “any private citizen who had done the same thing would have been instantly arrested, kept in jail or forced to provide bail, tried, and sentenced to harsh punishment for being irresponsible while in possession of a gun (as it should be).” Ridiculous. For a guy who claims to think that cops are lording their authority over the common man, you sure are quick to strip someone of his rights. It’s funny how when the shoe is on the other foot, you don’t mind trying to slap a disproportionate punishment on a crime…

        “Noone is talking about criminals intentionally commiting assault. We just want the cops to live up to the same standards they enforce against us and be punished the same when they don’t. If it was anybody else, they would be in prison. Why does having a badge make him special?” HA! Do you think that a person with no criminal history who has an ND and injuries someone in a non-life-threatening manner and then sticks around (not fleeing the scene) to own up to what he has done should get jail time? I guess next time you blow a stop sign, they should put you away for vehicular manslaughter… I mean, you COULD have run over a pedestrian and killed them, you know? Don’t be ridiculous.

        “He was intoxicated and acting like an idiot, and someone was shot because of his negligence. That is kind of a big deal, isn’t it?” Big deal? Yes, but not as big of a deal as you guys would like it to be. Like I said initially, what was the intent, here? Was he intentionally trying to harm people? Was someone permanently disfigured by his actions? No, and no. Just like a citizen in the same position, I think that the sentence was fair. He will probably lose his job and be civilly sued, as well.

        Here is the bottom line that all of you seem to be missing. If you think it is wrong for cops to treat law-abiding citizens like criminals, then it is just as wrong to treat cops like criminals. The penalty should match the severity of the intent and the outcome. This guy did not try to justify what he did; he made a mistake and owned up to it, and fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

        If you are the type of people that think that he should get a life sentence over this nonsense, then do us all a favor move back to California before it breaks off into the ocean, please. We don’t need more unreasonable gun grabbers in this country; especially if they are going to be lurking around, acting as if they are pro-gun advocates.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Ridiculous. For a guy who claims to think that cops are lording their authority over the common man, you sure are quick to strip someone of his rights. It’s funny how when the shoe is on the other foot, you don’t mind trying to slap a disproportionate punishment on a crime…”

          Please pay attention, Connie. Nothing I said recommended or endorsed a sentence more harsh than that which would befall a non government agent/LEO. Listing the process that would burden the private citizen does not constitute “harsh”….unless one does believe agents of government who cause unintentional harm should always receive the faintest rebuke.

          How is it possible to even think a person who insists on equal treatment before the bar is supporting “stripping” rights from anyone? Is it “stripping” someone of their rights to advocate that the offender receive the severest penalty previously foisted on a private citizen facing the same scenario? How about think that through for a moment?

          If you are new here, a negligent gun owner/carrier/possessor receives the scorn and reidcule usually accorded left wing radicals, statists, Demoncrats, and liberals who exploit the Second Amendment, but would vote it out of existence. This is especially true in situations where there historically has been a two-tiered justice system.

        2. avatar Sprocket says:

          “‘He was intoxicated and acting like an idiot, and someone was shot because of his negligence. That is kind of a big deal, isn’t it?’ Big deal? Yes, but not as big of a deal as you guys would like it to be.”

          Wow… Even by TTAG standards this is special.

        3. avatar Big Bill says:

          “If you are the type of people that think that he should get a life sentence over this nonsense…”

          False dichotomy.
          It’s not a case of being let of nearly Scott free and life in prison. There’s an immense range of possible outcomes.
          By saying this, you show that you really haven;t understood the entire question being asked.

        4. avatar frank speak says:


    3. avatar drunkEODguy says:

      the sentencing doesn’t bother me too much, although I do think a much larger fine is in order. Frankly probation and a large fine plus coverage of the victims medical bills should be standard for something like this whether john doe or cop. But therein lies the problem. John/Jane Doe would have been absolutely crucified, lost gun rights, done time, AND be branded a felon for life. This guy gets the treatment that should be standard practice for all, lighter than that even.

      Also, he should unquestionably lose his job. Having an ND like that, under the circumstances of being (presumably) inebriated and in an alcohol serving establishment represents, to me and most reasonable people at least, an egregious lack of judgment. Especially for someone who may have to make a deadly force determination in the line of duty. A military servicemen makes an error like that with injuries or death resulting is getting field grade UCMJ articles, at minimum. Brig time is not out of the question, perhaps even likely given circumstances and disciplinary history. This should be no different if they want to think of themselves as “not civilians” then they should be held to a higher standard.

    4. avatar RGP says:

      He was intoxicated and acting like an idiot, and someone was shot because of his negligence. That is kind of a big deal, isn’t it?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I have never seen it alleged that he was drunk.

        If he was at or above 0.08 then Colorado law says possession of a firearm is a felony. As far as I know he was never charged with that particular crime and you can be pretty sure that Denver would have hit him with that if they could have.

        To my knowledge the original, and only, charge was 2nd Degree Assault which was plead down.

    5. avatar rt66paul says:

      If I had done that at a company Christmas party, I am sure that I would have been fired, then and there. Was he? All things being equal, they really are not, whatever other LEOs say.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “I am sure that I would have been fired, then and there. Was he?”

        If he had killed someone, maybe, just maybe he would be subject to dismissal. As it is, you can sit in a office building, next to a window, and jerk off if front of God and everyone, yet cannot be dismissed for inappropriate behavior.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          “As it is, you can sit in a office building, next to a window, and jerk off if front of God and everyone, yet cannot be dismissed for inappropriate behavior.”
          Well, that depends. Was there a woman at one of the windows facing his window? If there was, then he would have to be fired immediately, with great public fanfare.
          #Me too.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Was there a woman at one of the windows facing his window? If there was, then he would have to be fired immediately, with great public fanfare.”

          I understand your thinking, but….have you ever tried to fire a government employee? Tried that once. The ride is the punishment…for supervisors. Had a male employee who ran a construction company from his government cubicle. You might say he spent all day on the phone, but to be generous, it was probably 2-3hrs. After the mandatory warnings, counselings, letters in the file, everything required to give the employee ample indication that performance was unacceptable, we decided to terminate the employee. Not only for his direct action, but the hostile workplace he created because other workers were not managing businesses from their government location an equipment, and they resented the business owner not being sanctioned. Long story short, we were forced to keep the employee because he was unfairly singled-out…no one else in the office was criticized about making any of their personal calls (none of which were abusing the privilege). In the end, the people who ran the personnel actions department said that until we put everyone making personal calls through the same process we put the business owner, we were not being fair. Under government rules there are no distinctions between very minor infractions and the worst imaginable.

          As to the guy in the window example, he was retained because supervisors could not prove that no one else was guilty of the same misconduct…meaning that every other employee in the office had to be monitored individually, everyday, to prove that dismissal actions did not, could not apply to someone else (undetected) in the office. It’s called, “Show me your telephone log of calls you didn’t make/receive.”

  12. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Of course he didn’t,isn’t he Special.

  13. avatar Yarbles says:

    FBI and Federal Govt have ALWAYS been corrupt.

    What do you expect?

  14. avatar Grumpy Old Guy says:

    The question should be what is the proper sentence for such a crime? It is not what the average person would contend with but what the average person should have to contend with after a case of being stupid with a firearm. The guy lost his job and likely any good job in the future due to having a record no matter what the sentence is. I would argue jail time serves no purpose, nether would probation, it won’t fix the stupid nor prevent anything in the future. Legal carry of firearms is a no go for him no matter what the sentence is. A good legal system would fine him for the pain and suffering caused by the person shot, medical and legal expenses for all sides. Maybe require him to teach gun safety as community service or similar.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “A good legal system would fine him for the pain and suffering…”

      The particulars are actually unimportant….there should be no difference in processing the crime for private individuals, and agents of authority. A “good system” would have the judge review how non-gov’t agents are treated, and declare the government agent would be sentenced IAW the most severe sentence imposed on a private citizen who is guilty of an ND that results in injury to another.

  15. avatar Buddy says:

    Duh, if they charged all the military aged males that staff alphabet agencies everytime they did something, who would be left to shoot citizens in the back of the skull when they do the government change over? Plus they just did that guy a favor, we kept you out of jail, son, now be a good clerk and follow orders to the letter.

  16. avatar Arandom Dude says:

    Of course he won’t, the law only applies to the little people. If a cop gets sauced and accidentally shoots a guy in a bar, no problem, a little slap on the wrist; as long as the powers that be think they can get away with it anyway.

  17. avatar Anonymous says:

    If the guy he shot doesn’t press charges – then he shouldn’t face jail time.

    He’s already an object of public ridicule and humiliation. I’m sure he lost his job.

    And the same should be for anyone else.

  18. avatar former water walker says:

    Well duh…FBI privledge prevails. Why anyone thinks they’re “special” is beyond my understanding. Jail for me and none for thee. Connie must be married to an agent😩

  19. avatar frankw says:

    Question- is he still carrying a gun and if so why?

  20. avatar Hannibal says:

    At least the DEA agent that pulled the trigger in a classroom only shot himself.

    I’m not sure the guy should be locked away, probation can be a hell of a punishment, but the idea that he’s possibly still carrying around a government issued firearm is absurd.

  21. avatar strych9 says:

    I’m not terribly surprised by this outcome. The guy who got shot has publicly said that he has also done dumb stuff to impress women and harbors no ill-will towards the Agent because of this.

    On top of that I’ve never seen it alleged that this guy was drunk, merely stupid. In Denver, FBI or not, you can be fairly well assured that if he was drunk he would have been charged with carrying a firearm while intoxicated because that’s a felony and that’s how Denver and the DA’s office in Denver roll.

    The simple fact is, based on the evidence, in Colorado the crimes he could have been charged with were the original 2nd degree assault charge, possibly with the negligent discharge and, under Denver law, openly displaying a firearm.

    Simply carrying a gun in a bar or drinking while in possession of a firearm are not crimes in the state of Colorado. Being drunk while possessing a firearm is a crime no matter where, or under what circumstances, you might do it. However, in cases of genuine self-defense within the home it’s not a crime that’s usually charged unless you do something else that’s really stupid.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      I don’t think an assault charge could stick, at least if you’ve got a competent defense attorney. An assault is an intentional act and although negligent, he discharged his weapon accidentally. Otherwise if you’re too busy texting and ran into another car you would be criminally charged with assault, rather than just a traffic violation.

      Here in IA there’s a graduated set of laws for the intentional discharge of a weapon that causes injury or property damage based on the severity of the injury/damage. But as far as I know there’s no law against accidentally discharging a weapon, even if it does cause injury. Of course that doesn’t mean the authorities won’t try to find something to prosecute. Now if you’re intentionally shooting at someone because you think he’s Bigfoot you will be in a world of trouble…

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        In Colorado “assault” is legally defined as “knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person”.

        They got him on the “reckless” part of it, charged him with 2nd Degree Assault and he plead it down to 3rd Degree.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Hmm… I would think (legally speaking) that the recklessness came when he did the back flip, whereas the discharge happened when he tried to pick up the weapon. No if he was intoxicated that certainly elevates the recklessness of his actions.

          Still, I’m not so sure we’d be treated differently. There’s a big difference between an intentional act and an unintentional one, even if it is negligent.

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        So, I actually looked up the specific laws applicable here and they’re kinda telling.

        So his ND would be a 5th Degree Felony for Illegal Discharge of a Firearm (into an occupied structure in this case). However, the law doesn’t apply because there’s a LEO carveout in Colo. Rev Stat § 18-12-107.5 that states ” It shall not be an offense under this section if the person who discharges a firearm in violation of subsection (1) of this section is a peace officer as described in section 16-2.5-101, C.R.S., acting within the scope of such officer’s authority…”

        If we refer to 16-2.5-101 we find that the “scope of such officer’s authority” is defined, in part, as “…while engaged in the performance of their duties or as otherwise authorized by the written policy of the agency employing the officer..

        In other words, if the FBI’s written policy allowed him to carry a gun when off duty then he’s arguably “within the scope” of his authority and therefore the ND, even though it takes place in an occupied structure and the bullet enters that structure, isn’t a crime.

        The original charge against him was 2nd Degree Assault. That’s a felony under C.R.S. 18-3-203 which requires intent other than subsection (d) which states “He recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon…”

        That was reduced to 3rd Degree Assault, a Class 1 Misdemeanor the relevant law being C.R.S. 18-3-204 which states in part “(a) The person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person…”

        Also, since he’s law enforcement, Denver’s OC laws don’t apply. Therefore the only things they could get him on are the assault (recklessness harming another, battery requires intent but assault does not under the C.R.S.) and carrying while drunk (if he was drunk).

        So, I’m guessing that he wasn’t drunk or intoxicated on narcotics because IIRC that was a big question DPD was looking at when this happened. He was charged with basically the max he could be and managed to plead that down probably because the DA didn’t want to argue over what constituted a “serious bodily injury” when they had the guy dead-to-rights on “recklessly causing bodily injury”, especially since the guy who got shot isn’t even mad about the situation.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘However, the law doesn’t apply because there’s a LEO carveout in Colo.’ – Now that’s offensive.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          BTW, not arguing the statute, but there’s no way any unintentional discharge of a weapon should be a felony because there’s no mens rea and felonies should be reserved for intentional criminal activity or at least the kind of gross negligence where any reasonable person would know that their actions could lead to serious bodily harm or fatal injury to others. IMHO. Intentionally discharging a weapon into a building or anywhere you would assume that someone COULD be there and injured that’s felony recklessness, but if you have no intent of discharging the weapon there’s no criminal intent.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…felonies should be reserved for intentional criminal activity or at least the kind of gross negligence…”

          Ah, but don’t you see? Almost every legal infraction should be a felony. Making things a felony has two great advantages: longer sentences that can be used to make you plea to lesser crimes; piling on when you are of a non-protected class of human…oh yea, and making just about everything a felony removes a lot of confusion about act is worse than another.

        4. avatar Ton E says:

          Doesnt LEOSA apply here especially with his being a Federal Agent?

        5. avatar strych9 says:


          I agree about the idea that an ND/AD shouldn’t be a felony and likewise I was not trying to argue. I’m just pointing out the relevant law because I’m somewhat annoyed by all the people suggesting that just because he was dancing in a bar he must have been drunk.

          In this case, yeah, there’s a LEO carveout. However, in Colorado not every ND/AD is a crime. Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 18-12-107.5 is the “Illegal discharge of a firearm” law which says “(1) Any person who knowingly or recklessly discharges a firearm into any dwelling or any other building or occupied structure, or into any motor vehicle occupied by any person, commits the offense of illegal discharge of a firearm.”

          So, I would say it’s not a crime if you have an ND but not into/towards a building or vehicle that is occupied or for which you would/should reasonably expect to be occupied.

        6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Well strych, what constitutes ‘recklessness’ is the same as what constitutes ‘reasonable’ in that either is ultimately up to the judgement of a jury of your peers. If I’m on that jury, I look at it like this, he was negligent in dropping the gun but, being embarrassed, he didn’t use the proper caution when picking it up. This may be negligent, but IMHO it doesn’t rise to the level of gross negligence that would constitute a felony. A year of probation and restitution to the victim (including ‘pain and suffering’ compensation) seems appropriate enough for either a LEO or a private citizen. I understand that cops need a little leeway when engaging a criminal suspect or an enraged person, but when out on the town the rules should be the same.

  22. avatar Michael says:

    He’ll spend the rest of his life looking over both shoulders…shooting people has a karma all it’s own. Even if he lives to be 100, and nothing bad ever happens to him, he’ll never know another moments peace. -30-

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      He didn’t kill someone or even shoot someone in anger. The guy he shot isn’t coming for revenge. I think you’re making it sound a lot more dramatic than it is. There are plenty of people walking around who have shot someone and know moments of peace.

      1. avatar Michael says:

        Things have really changed, and not for the better. “I’ve hit everything I ever aimed at.” and ‘I’ve never shot anything I didn’t mean to shoot”, used to be the gold standard. It meant you knew what you were doing. If these don’t apply any more, we’ve lost something we won’t get back. If this doesn’t bother him, a lot, and for the rest of his life. A bad shooting is the least of his problems. -30-

      2. avatar Chris Morton says:

        My great uncles shot a lot of Germans in France in 1918, and knew moments of peace… probably because the Germans weren’t innocent third parties, but were trying to kill them.

        Any defense of this idiot FBI agent is of a kind with the defenses of Michael Brown and the Ohio State jihadi.

        It’s strictly “us versus them” in “law enforcement” these days, and if you’re not a cop, you’re “them” and a legitimate target.

  23. avatar Anymouse says:

    There’s a lot of talk here about doule standards and how bad the sentence would have been had he not been a cop. Can anyone name a similar instance where an ordinary citizen was given a harsher sentence, especially in Colorado?

    1. avatar Gregg says:

      Not Colorado, but that Indiana man who lost a handgun in an IKEA couch was charged with felony recklessness, trial pending
      No was was shot in that incident, though Kids found the gun

      Expect he’ll be acquitted, if he can afford a decent lawyer

  24. avatar possum says:

    Dancing FBI agent, ; “i wanna know who called that mutha fcka a piccolo player.” Red Foxx

  25. avatar Tome says:

    I Conceil Carry. But never with round in Chamber. I would not carry in a bar even if legal! What was he doing summer salts with a gun on him? (Common Sense) No matter how much he had to drink. I believe was wrong. If he was in Bar on duty. Should not be doing summer salts. If not on duty no reason for the gun!

  26. avatar Alan says:

    How high and how soon might this person be prompted to a more responsible level of FAB Agent Hood, one wonders. I also wonder as to the degree of judicial largess that Joe Sixpack might benefit from. Also, I gather that a “civilian” was injured, how seriously, one wonders

  27. avatar GS650G says:

    Most of us make sure we don’t carry when drinking, dancing and back flipping because we would go to JAIL if we shot someone doing any of the above.

  28. avatar HuntingtonGuy says:

    To Protect and Serve? Not the same as get drunk and shoot the citizenry.
    I am one of those guys who believes LE should receive at least the benefit of the doubt. A commitment to serve, an acceptance of unusual risk and many atypical sacrifices I think earn an edge…a very, very slight one though, not a pass.
    I also believe when they behave negligently they should be held to a higher standard than Mr or Mrs Average. Most LE are not “gun guys” and plenty of us train more frequently than most LE, yet we are absolutely more likely to be judged harshly by society and the courts.
    I’m wondering if he has his gun back? Does his FLEO indemnity cover him in this situation? Does he remain FBI. If he is sued civilly, is it him and his insurance company on the hook or is it on the taxpayer dime?
    I don’t wish the guy any I’ll will but I don’t want to have my hard earned tax dollars covering his massive screw up either.
    Also, if this guy stays on the job and ever has to use his weapon and second semester law student will be able to paint him as reckless and unfit to be armed…ie: liability is on us and a bad guy potentially walks (with a pocketful of cash).

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      “A commitment to serve, an acceptance of unusual risk and many atypical sacrifices I think earn an edge…a very, very slight one though, not a pass.”

      What about military and veterans?
      They do receive much more firearms training than even FBI agents, and with our all-volunteer military, the dedication and acceptance of possible sacrifice should earn the same edge, no?
      But given the current state of affairs, LEOs get not just an edge, but carve-outs to many laws the veterans among us don’t get.
      In the case here, the LEO got more than an edge, IMO. Anyone with proper gun safety training knows you don’t pick up a gun with your finger on the trigger.

    2. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

      I can only wonder if the F.B.I. has a shooting review board like most of the local agencys. ANY un-intetional discharge of a weapon resulting in injury should come under peer-review with a shooting review board giving the local d.a. advise on prosecution. DID THEY HAVE ONE? and did they give any advise to the da?

  29. avatar Bpaulyz1 says:

    Hey everyone we are all missing one very very important fact here. And it’s a doozie…..why did he have a gun in a place that serves alcohol to begin with. That’s automatically getting me time if I am found with one in a bar or establishment that serves alcohol. On official business or not this is B.S.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      You’re missing the fact that carrying in a bar and carrying while drinking are both 100% legal in Colorado provided that one doesn’t become legally intoxicated.

  30. avatar Pg2 says:

    How could anyone be surprised? Laws are for the little people.

    1. avatar Ton E says:

      You’re not cop anymore you’re little people!

      1. avatar Pg2 says:

        Yep, great flick….nice catch.

  31. avatar Mikial says:

    One set of justice for the FBI, and one for everyone else. You or I’d be looking at at least a couple of years in jail and my life ruined if one of us had done that, but he gets slap on the hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if his career goes on like nothing happened.

  32. avatar Wheel Gun Guy says:

    As a member of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network I seriously doubt if Marty Hayes or Massad Ayoob would even look at my case if I did something as stupid as what Mr. Bishop did…..I would be on my own to retain a lawyer and pay all legal fees….and I imagine after the legal and civil courts got done with me I would be financially ruined probably for a lifetime……so jail time for Mr Bishop …..probably not….financially ruined for life and complete loss of gun rights……absolutely.

  33. avatar CMac says:

    I’m curious if he was drinking alcohol. If he were his permit to carry a gun is null and void regardless of who he is, period. That would be felonious discharge of a weapon around these parts.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Um, no. That’s not the law in Colorado.

      1. avatar CMac says:

        Thank you sir, I just read it’s legal there before I read yours.

      2. avatar Chris Morton says:

        What do cops say so frequently about open carry? “Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.”

        Just because you CAN drink and carry a gun doesn’t make it a good idea.

        Sorry, I forgot that “he’s the most qualified in the room to… BANG!!!”

  34. avatar joefoam says:

    Two things stand out for me. These are the people that the left want to have weapons, not the rest of us, like they are paragons of virtue and better than us. This particular one showed poor judgement which could have ended tragically. Second , this guy tried to collect his weapon and hustle out the door instead of rendering aid to the person he shot. And what kind of person, carrying what kind of weapon, in a fashion that it could discharge by dropping it, is this guy?

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      Being an FBI agent is a “hard job”… but not nearly as hard as not shooting innocent people.

      Besides, it was the victim’s fault for… reasons.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      was that a Glock?….if so,..another ringing endorsement…..

  35. avatar Rich says:

    We now see why the FBI adopted the Glock M. It stands up to the drop test!

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “We now see why the FBI adopted the Glock M. It stands up to the drop test!”

      Not seeing the relevance. The gun didn’t discharge when it hit the floor. The FBI agent fired it when he tried to grab the gun and hide it before anyone saw it. The desperate grab caused the idiot to snatch the gun, and no matter how, his finger was inside the trigger guard. ND, not AD from dropping.

  36. avatar piper says:

    Did they ever release his blood alcohol level or drug test from after the incident? Bet not.

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