Police Shoot, Kill Suspect After Homeowner Attacked

By Lauren DiSpirito

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Westminster police have shot and killed a man who they said was armed, wanted for assault and robbery, and fleeing officers.

The officer-involved shooting happened on Tuesday afternoon near the Cottonwood Villas apartment complex.

Westminster tweeted an update on the shooting that happened at 121st and Huron.

According to police, a homeowner in the 12100 block of Bannock Street called police after he witnessed four men and a woman stealing items from his garage. He told police he was punched and weapons were pulled on him.

One man fled on a motorcycle while three men and the woman fled in a silver Chevy Malibu.

Copter4 flew over the officer-involved shooting in Westminster. (credit: CBS)

Copter4 flew over the officer-involved shooting in Westminster. (credit: CBS)

Westminster Police Public Information Officer Cheri Spottke says as police were airing suspect information, two officers with the department’s K9 unit spotted the suspect motorcycle.

“It was all kind of evolving as we were getting the phone call from the homeowner and airing that information when officers in the area happened upon that motorcycle,” Spottke said.

She says the suspect on the motorcycle crashed and tried to flee on foot. Police said the suspect pulled a weapon and officers shot and killed him.

“We’re not giving out what type of weapon he brandished at this time,” said Spottke, “but he did not fire shots at the officers.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

While police have said initial reports indicate the suspect crashed his motorcycle on his own, Erica Guerrero, who lives at Cottonwood Villas, says she saw a police vehicle hit the back of the suspect’s motorcycle.

“I heard sirens, so I turned around and I saw the back of one of the SUV police cars had bumped the back of the tire on the motorcycle,” Guerrero said. “They were going no more than 15 miles per hour when it got bumped and he just fell over with the bike and got up and took off.”

Both police and witnesses say, next, officers chased the suspect on foot through the apartment complex. One witness told police he saw the suspect unzip his jacket. Another witness told CBS4 the suspect did not have a weapon, despite reports from police.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Jason Garvin, who also lives at the apartment complex, described hearing gunshots. At first, he thought they might be fireworks.

“It was pretty shocking to have something like this happen over here,” Garvin said.

Huron Street was closed between 124th and 128th but has since has been reopened.

Police are still searching for the other suspects. They say the homeowner who reported being robbed and attacked was not seriously hurt. The 17th Judicial District’s critical incident response team is handling the shooting investigation.

Lauren DiSpirito reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. She covers breaking news and feature stories along Colorado’s Front Range. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Lauren. Share your story ideas with her here.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Robert Hall says:

    I was an eye witness to the shooting, standing not more than 35 or 40 feet away. The police shot at the man from behind, while he was still running. He DID NOT have or point a weapon at the police when they shot him in the back, he was still running. The Westminster police are now saying he had a weapon, well I was there and watched everything, and that is a LIE. He had no weapon when he was shot, and those are the facts. In my opinion, from what I saw, this person was executed by 2 overzealous officers of the Westminster police depasrtment, without a trial of any sort. The 2 officers that killed him were the judge, jury , and the executioners. And now the Westminster police are attempting to cover up a murder by 2 of their officers What a shame this happens in a civilized world we have officers like this still allowed to carry a weapon

    1. Julie G of CO says:

      Mr Hall, do you know if the burglary was at a detached garage at Cottonwood Villas condos, and not a home invasion? Many of the news reports implied the man was attacked in his home. But I heard he arrived at the garage and saw a burglary in progress. My daughter’s co-workers saw the man shot dead in the street. That is a busy area at 120th and Huron. I wonder if the news outlets will even report on the deceased man’s name and age, etc. I remember when burglary didn’t result in death. But now, every one is presumed to be armed. I don’t condone burglary, of course having experienced car breakins and a car stolen. But I didn’t wish the perpetrators’ death for it. I hope the media actually investigates instead of cherry picking the facts. One video showed the reporter saying the police had no choice but to shoot him.

  2. MICHAEL CORN says:

    How can we ever believe any police officer??? They lie on everything they do. See the Oklahoma and Chicago shootings and so much more….they are just thugs with guns

  3. Robert Gift, EMT says:

    What happened to my reply to Robert Hall?

    Motorcyclist had no excuse for not stopping. He escalated the situation by disobeying a lawful order.

    Did he act as though carrying a weapon?

    If I am ever contacted by law enforcement, I am keeping my hands out and visible and immediately will comply with orders.

    Wife and I were stopped for a tail light bulb out. I placed car in Park and turned off engine.
    Turned headlights off and interior lights ON.
    Rolled window down and placed both hands out the window holding driver license and registration.

  4. Robert Hall says:

    He was running away from the police, as I said earlier I was an eye witness not more than 35 feet or so away, he did not act as if he had a weapon, he was running away from the police with his back to them. As a matter of fact they spent hours looking for the weapon that he had apparantly threw in the bushes several minutes before he wasd executed, so the police knew he had no weapon. I think what this young man did was teribly wrong, but I also dont wish to live in a society where we shoot first and ask questions later.

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