AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– A police chase across the Denver metro area ended with officers opening fire on a suspect in Aurora.
Denver police said, per the department’s standard procedure, the officers who fired shots were placed on administrative leave. It was unknown how many officers fired.
The chase began in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood a short time past noon on Sunday, after the suspect allegedly threatened a family member with a gun.
“His barrel was out the window,” Antonio Jaime told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
Jaime and his sister Deana were outside their home with other family members when the driver of a silver Chevy Impala allegedly pulled up and aimed a large weapon towards them.
“He pulled out a gun,” Deana said. “And I freaked out. Because my baby was outside.”
When a Denver officer tried to pull him over, police said the suspect sped off, leading officers on a high-speed chase into Aurora.
According to officers involved in the chase, the suspect also pointed a gun at police during the pursuit.
The chase came to an end about eight miles away in front of the suspect’s condominium home on Alameda Parkway and Ohio Drive.
“The gray car hit the corner and we looked and heard the t-bone (crash), and then immediately after that, (we heard) ‘Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom.’ They just started shooting.
We jumped on the ground,” said LaTha Grant, who witnessed the shooting. “They shot so much that they shot their own car up.”
“I’m not saying it was a racial thing, but it was a wrongful thing,” said Wesley Taylor, whose family knows the suspect.
Taylor said that he ducked behind a car when he heard the spray of bullets fired by Denver officers.
“There were also kids playing in this parking lot that saw that in broad daylight. And the police didn’t even hesitate to stop,” he added.
The shot suspect was taken to the hospital by ambulance with injuries that were initially believed to be serious.
Police recovered a gun from the suspect’s vehicle.
“They pulled an AR-15 out of the back seat of the car,” said Sharron Collins, another witness. “He was not holding the gun at the time (of the shooting). I feel like there was a better way that they could have disarmed that guy.”
Aurora police were investigating the officer-involved shooting.
“Typically, police officers are trained to shoot until the threat is stopped,” said Sgt. Chris Amsler, a spokesman for the Aurora Police Department. “So we’ll be looking into exactly why that many shots were fired.”
The suspect’s injuries were later said to be non-life-threatening. He was expected to be released from the hospital Sunday night or Monday.
He will then be booked into the Aurora jail. Police had not said what charges he would face.