By Melissa Garcia
GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – A critical incident response team is investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting in Greeley.
Police said they first received an anonymous tip late Friday night that a suspect wanted on two felony warrants may be at a unit in a mobile home park in the 2600 block of 1st Street.
When officers arrived on location, they did surveillance on the house and saw a man get into a vehicle just before 2 a.m. on Saturday. When police approached to attempt to take the suspect into custody, they say he backed into and rammed a police cruiser. He then allegedly sped off and led officers on an 8 minute chase that ended back at the same residence where it had begun.
Officers said that at one point during the chase, the suspect brandished a gun, holding it out of the driver’s side window.
According to police, the suspect identified as Danny Sanchez, 40, had warrants out for parole violation after an escape from prison, felony menacing and weapon possession by a previous offender as well as driving without a license that had been revoked for DUI arrests.
A police spokesman said that after the chase, Sanchez failed to follow officers’ commands and submit to arrest. Officers fired. Sanchez was struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene.
Nearly two dozen friends and family of Sanchez gathered at the scene, where he was killed.
They held a candlelight vigil Saturday night. Those closest to Sanchez were heard crying, while listening to songs. They read the rosary, and called for a just investigation into the shooting.
Family members told CBS4, “Bring in the negotiator, bring in the swat team, bring in the search warrant to negotiate with him and bring him out. You don’t need to take his life,” said Santoe Domingo, Sanchez’s brother.
“(Danny was) always cracking jokes. Always willing to help anybody. If somebody needed his jacket off his back, he would lend it to them,”said Crystal Sanchez, Sanchez’s niece.
Neighbors were also shaken by the shooting.
“To have this happen so close to where you live, it’s beyond belief,” said Sonya McDonald, who lives down the street. “I just saw a ton of lights. Tons of lights. And then, there was ‘pop pop pop pop’…There was a poor guy who got shot right in front of his home, just lying there expired, dead. So, it just scares the living (expletive) out of you. And you don’t know what happened.”
A close relative provided a photo of the man who they describe as a good person.
Sanchez was the father of two children and had a third child on the way.
“When we heard the gunshots, everybody took cover,” said Brenda Leos, who lives across the street. “We were pretty scared because we have kids in the house.”
Leos said the shooting may have been captured on cellphone video.
“One of the people in the house was saying that (he or she) had recorded the whole thing. But as soon as the two younger females got (taken into custody) last night, (police) took the phone away from them,” Leos told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
Sanchez’s family planned to hold a candlelight vigil on Saturday night.