A 21-year-old CU graduate who was shot by a homeowner after drunkenly entering the wrong home will also face felony trespassing charges, the Boulder County District Attorney's Office announced today.
Zoey Ripple had entered the $2.75 million home on 425 College Ave. at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday through an unlocked screen door. According to the Denver Post, homeowners Timothy Justice and Doreen Orion were unable to make out Ripple in the darkness, but shouted for the intruder to leave, indicating they had a gun. When Ripple continued walking through the house, Justice fired a shot.
After the shot Ripple fell to the floor and the lights were turned on. A frantic 911 call obtained by the Daily Camera, paints the urgency of the situation:
Orion: "Somebody came into our house.. she's in the house now, she's fine but she's been shot... we shot her."
Dispatcher: Is she conscious and breathing?
Orion: "yes yes yes."
Orion: "we started screaming at her to leave and she kept coming in."
Later in the call Orion tells the dispatcher Ripple seems "kind of stoned or something." The Daily Camera reports Ripple's blood alcohol content level was at least 0.2 at the time of the incident.
Under Colorado's Make My Day Law, people who use deadly force for self defense in their own homes cannot be prosecuted. As a result, Justice will not face charges. Ripple, however, will be charged for the drunken act.
"This was an unfortunate incident for the homeowners in this case, who are understandably upset by what occurred, and for Ms. Ripple, who could have been fatally wounded," wrote Boulder DA Stan Garnett in a statement on Westword. "It is also unfortunate that we see a lot of incidents in Boulder where people become so intoxicated that they illegally trespass into another's residence. Luckily most of them don't result in someone being shot, but as this case illustrates, it certainly is a possibility."
"She didn't enter the house with any intent of committing a crime or harming anyone," responded Ripple's attorney Colette Cribari this afternoon to the Daily Camera. "We're thankful she was not killed or more seriously hurt, but we're disappointed they decided to file charges on top of all this."