DENVER (CBS4) – Police are investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting that took place at midday Tuesday in Denver near the 30th and Downing Street Light Rail Station.
The shooting happened just before noon at 29th and Downing. The suspect was taken to the hospital with critical injuries and later died.
According to Sonny Jackson with Denver police, the man was apparently threatening pedestrians and drivers in passing vehicles with a knife. Jackson said officers tried to subdue the man with nonlethal weapons, but the man refused orders to drop the knife, lunged at officers and an officer shot him.
“I was pulling up at the red light at 29th and Downing and I saw a guy pointing a knife at people,” said witness Branden Harris. “I was dazed, I was shocked. I was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy!'”
Witnesses described the man as acting crazy and said people near the light rail station were running from what looked like a madman with a knife.
“It looked like a regular kitchen knife,” said Harris.
Breanna Martinez was shaken about what happened to her father.
“He was going to work and he called us and said that a guy was chasing him, and then he called the cops,” Martinez said.
Neighbors were rattled after hearing gunfire on their street.
“I got scared, I really got scared,” a neighbor said.
Police said they received about six calls about a suspect waving a knife.
“We attempted less than lethal weapons, being our gas gun, our pepper gun, and our Taser,” Police Chief Robert White said. “Not one of those had any effect on him.”
So far it’s not clear how many shots were fired.
“I saw the cop shoot a taser. I don’t know if it hit the guy but he was still standing and some other cops pulled up. He charged at them with a knife. The cop backed up and let off three or four shots and killed him,” said Harris.
Denver police said no officers were injured in the incident. The names of the victim and the officer who fired his gun haven’t been released.
“I don’t think they did anything that they weren’t supposed to do. Ultimately the officer was trying to protect himself. The guy had a knife,” said Harris.
The light rail had to make its final northbound stop at 27th and Welton while the investigation continued.