By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – RTD is urging passengers to download an app that can help nip crimes in the bud. It’s called the RTD Transit Watch. It played an important role earlier this week.

(credit: CBS)

A man was shot and killed by police after he caused a disruption on an RTD bus and walked north on Lincoln Avenue flailing a gun and shooting it in the air.

A passenger on the bus had the app on his phone which he used to notify an RTD Security Command Center of a problem. Transit Police Chief Robert Grado says it works instantly.

(credit: CBS)

“As soon as you hit send we get all the information including the GPS of where you are.”

On the bus, the suspect, wearing a long black coat, then broke a window and was told to get off. A Transit Police officer was quickly dispatched and was able to describe the man who was walking down the street, carrying a gun.

“It was a very dangerous situation,” Grado explained.

As the gunman continued to walk north, RTD turned it over to Denver Police. Radios crackled with the words, “Suspect fired a single shot in the air, northbound Lincoln on the east side, has a handgun.”

(credit: Dallas Erwin)

Seen from CBS4 studios security cameras, police could be seen taking up positions behind trees. The radio traffic from police continued.

“Watch out he’s walking northbound on Lincoln. Watch out he is almost at 11th.”

Denver police say the man was ordered to drop the gun, but aimed it at police who then opened fire.

“Shots fired the suspect’s down, still moving watch the crossfire,” the radio squawked.

(credit CBS)

After the role the app played, all RTD riders are being encouraged to have it. Mike Christman, Public Safety Communications Manager at RTD, says the app is often safer than trying to use a phone in a dangerous situation.

“If you get on a bus or train you may not feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling us directly.”

The app takes the user through a series of questions about what is happening and allows a photo to be sent without a flash. A GPS will notify the command center exactly from where the message was sent.

Rick Sallinger


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