By Ben Warwick

DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver police officer has been fired after a departmental review found he did not help a man found shot in the leg. That man ultimately died.

Officer Dewayne Rodgers and his partner were first on scene of a shots fired call on the 10100 East Harvard Avenue the morning of Sept. 7, 2020. When they arrived, a man flagged down the officers and led them to the shooting victim. Rodgers called for an ambulance while his partner placed crime scene tape around the area.

(credit: CBS)

Roughly 10 minutes later, a third DPD officer arrives and asks Rodgers if he placed a tourniquet on the victim. In a statement to investigators, the third officer said he had to step in to help the victim.

“On scene, I was told the victim was shot in the leg but would not identify himself,” the officer said. “I approached the victim to attempt to place a tourniquet on the leg. The victim was so bloody I could not see where the wound was. I also observed the victim was no longer responsive. I checked for signs of breathing, and saw none. At this point Fire and EMS were arriving.”

That same officer said he could not recall what Rodgers was doing after he arrived on scene. Officer Rodgers said in a statement that normally he has a tourniquet with him on duty, but did not that night.

In a disciplinary letter released by the city, Rodgers said he “did not air out that (the victim) was getting worse. I just aired out to see where the paramedics were.”

“For me, my sole reason for why I didn’t put hands on the victim had nothing to do with fear of getting blood on my hands, it was solely because I didn’t want to hurt him any further than he was already injured,” Rodgers continued in a statement.

(credit: CBS)

“I made the determination that I should not touch him, because he’s in dire straits at this point,” Rodgers continued. “He’s bleeding out. He can barely move, and he can barely talk to me at all. With all that going on, I made the determination that I can’t touch him. I didn’t want to fish around for the injury and do more harm.”

Rodgers’ body-worn camera shows the victim saying “I’m dying,” “I can’t breathe,” and “help me” multiple times during the course of their interaction.

Investigators concluded the Officer Rodgers did not attempt to render any aid to the victim over the course of the 10-minute interaction, and that video evidence from his own body-worn camera undermines his defense that he did not know where the victim had been shot. Investigators also concluded that at no time did Officer Rodgers get near the victim to search for a wound, touch the victim, or offer words of comfort. The disciplinary action for his conduct was immediate termination.

Ben Warwick