DENVER (CBS4) – Denver District Attorney Beth McCann says that officers were justified in the shooting of two people after a high-speed chase in March that was connected to the search for a fugitive who had escaped from a hospital.
Police in Denver released body camera video that showed what happened as the chase ended just east of 40th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.
Officers were searching for Mauricio Venzor-Gonzales who had escaped custody earlier that day. Officers thought he was inside the SUV that was the subject of the chase that spanned from Aurora into Denver. He wasn’t.
Police said the two men in the SUV refused to comply with repeated orders to put their hands up. Officers also said they appeared to be looking for something inside the vehicle.
Officers shot and killed Steven Nguyen, 23. The passenger in the SUV, Rafel Landeros, was treated at the hospital for his wounds and then arrested on outstanding warrants.
Police said they found a loaded weapon inside the SUV.
They were searching for Venzor-Gonzales who had escaped after being arrested for trying to kill an officer. He was arrested in August, five months after the officer-involved shooting.
Venzor allegedly took his ex-girlfriend and their son from a home in Adams County at gunpoint late in the summer of 2017 in a case that triggered an Amber Alert. The woman and the child were found unharmed but the subsequent search for Venzor lasted several days.