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Police Cleared In Wounding Of Fort Carson Soldier

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) — Police were justified in shooting and wounding a Fort Carson soldier who allegedly took his wife and two sons hostage in August, the El Paso County district attorney's office said Thursday.

A statement from the district attorney said Fountain police Sgt. Tim Johnson fired four shots at Army Sgt. Stephen Payne, hitting him at least twice. It was the most detailed public account to date of the Aug. 12 shooting in Fountain, a small town near Fort Carson.

Payne faces charges including assault and false imprisonment. His lawyer didn't immediately return a message.

Payne, an Army mechanic, returned to active duty after he was released on a $25,000 bond, Fort Carson said.

The district attorney's statement alleges Payne had been drinking and was holding his wife and two sons, ages 4 and 6 years, as hostages at their house. A daughter fled the house and got a text message from her mother reading, "He won't let me leave with the boys," the statement said.

Police responding to the house heard yelling and crying and saw Payne holding a handgun, the statement said.

As officers took up positions, Payne's wife left the house with the boys and told them to run. Payne also emerged, and two officers approached him from behind, identified themselves and ordered him to lie on the ground, the statement said.

Payne turned and drew a handgun, and Johnson fired twice, the statement said. Payne then aimed his weapon at officers and Johnson fired again, the statement said.

Payne was hospitalized.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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