DENVER (CBS4) – The man who was shot and killed during a confrontation with police on Wednesday afternoon had previously eluded officers. Three officers were hurt in the scuffle with the suspect.
Officers were serving a warrant for a wanted party at a home on the 2600 block of West Bates Avenue just after noon Wednesday. Police say the 21-year-old man, who hasn’t been identified by the coroner’s office, was associated with a stolen car outside the home.
Residents of the home allowed police into the home and said the suspect was in a back bedroom.
“He was in trouble, he had been in trouble previously in his hometown. They were looking for him. There was a warrant out for him,” said neighbor Bobbie Grosch.
Police surrounded the home because they expected the suspect to run. He got out a back window and then tried to escape in the stolen car. However, officers had blocked the car in with their police cruisers.
The suspect then tried to steal a Denver police cruiser but wasn’t successful.
Police then tried to capture him in the street.
“The individual was fighting with one of the officers over his particular service weapon, several shots were fired and the individual was struck,” said Denver Police Chief Robert White.
Police said at least one shot was fired while the struggle for the gun was taking place. The fatal shot was then fired by a Denver police veteran of 11 years who wasn’t directly involved in the struggle.
“Another officer, fearing for the safety of the officer struggling with the suspect, then shot the male,” said Denver police officer Barb Archer on Thursday morning. “He died on scene.”
None of the three officers who were taken to the hospital had injuries that were serious enough to require extended hospital stays.
Grosch said police told him the suspect had five felony warrants.
Friends and family gathered at the scene and tried to make sense of what happened.
“It’s going to be hard not to have him around. And I hope the officers who were harmed are going to be okay,” said one neighbor.