DENVER (CBS4) – Investigators are waiting to talk to the man they say fired a gun at a Denver police officer while he was handcuffed.
The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at the Denver Police District 4 Substation at Clay and Evans.
On Wednesday Isaac Vigil was taken into custody for drug charges and a felony warrant in the 300 block of Elliot Street after plain-clothes officers and another in uniform approached him at a McDonald’s. Vigil was wanted on a nationwide felony warrant for weapons violations.
Witnesses said police needed a taser to control Vigil.
“I was driving down the road and I just saw two officers grab the guy and dropped him down to the ground and start searching him in his vehicle,” said one witness.
Denver Police Chief Robert White said soon afterwards Vigil was inside a squad car in handcuffs when he managed to get control of a gun and take a shot at the officer.
He missed and then another officer shot the suspect. Vigil, 32, is in critical condition.
The investigation is centering around how Vigil got the gun he fired. It’s unclear whether the weapon belonged to the suspect or police.
“As it relates to how he produced the weapon and the nature of the search, that is yet to be determined,” said White. “The officer who fired at the individual, it appears did the right thing so there’s no question about that. The question now is how did the suspect get the gun?”
The patrol car was in the police station’s parking lot, and there were a number of police officers inside the building at the time of the shooting.
White said the investigation is just beginning.
“Obviously once you make an arrest you have a responsibility to search the individual. It is undetermined at this time how the gun got into the hands of the individual. Obviously we’ll be able to determine that as part of our investigation,” said White.
Vigil was previously arrested for assaulting a police officer and has several arrests for drugs as well as felony menacing and vehicle theft.