AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Another investigation is underway into an officer-involved shooting in Aurora. The shooting at East Evans and South Blackhawk Street is the fourth of its kind this month.
It started with a traffic stop at the intersection about 11 p.m. Sunday. Police said there were four people inside the car but when officers approached, one person got out and ran away.
During the short chase, the adult male suspect pulled out a gun.
“At some point in time the subject produced a handgun and the officer fired at him, he suffered life-threatening injuries,” said Aurora Police Department spokeswoman Crystal McCoy.
No others were injured in the incident, and the three other occupants of the vehicle were detained.
The officer involved was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation per department policy.
The common thread in all the recent officer-involved shootings in Aurora is a report of a suspect with a weapon — real or replica. Police say when someone points a weapon at an officer it can be a matter making an instant decision to shoot or be shot.
“We have had three in approximately the past two weeks now, and like we mentioned before those parties were armed or at least armed with a replica that looks like a firearms,” McCoy said.
CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger counted eight officer-involved shootings in Aurora since Nov. 30 of last year. By comparison there was a total of eight for all of 2015.
State Rep. Jovan Melton of Aurora thinks it’s time for what he called a “de-escalation.”
“If we are looking at shootings we want to make sure they are doing their job, but at the same time that that’s not the first place that they go — that they don’t go straight for their firearm,” Melton said.
Each incident is unique from the others, but the numbers in Aurora are raising eyebrows.
Last week Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz made it clear about suspects with guns.
“If you point a gun at one of my officers, expect that there will be an aggressive and very overwhelming response,” Metz said.
“It really is concerning to hear that kind of routine traffic stops are turning into violent episodes,” Melton said.
Aurora Deputy City Manager Nancy Freed issued a statement saying, “We are concerned about each and every crime or incident that occurs in the city, and that’s why we conduct thorough investigations and take appropriate actions.”