Thomas (defendant) was called by one of his former girlfriends who told him that she was raped by a man who lived above her apartment. Thomas, armed with a pistol, went to the man’s apartment and told the man that he was a police officer in order to enter the man’s apartment. Thomas took the man down to his former girlfriend’s apartment, and the girlfriend identified the man as her rapist. The man tried to flee, prompting Thomas to shoot at him three times. Thomas hit the man with two of these shots. The police then arrived on the scene to find Thomas outside the apartment still holding the pistol. Thomas was convicted of first degree assault and attempted reckless manslaughter. On appeal, the court of appeals upheld the conviction for first degree assault but reversed the conviction of attempted reckless manslaughter because it was not a legally recognized offense in Colorado. The Colorado supreme court granted certiorari.