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Witnesses, surveillance video provide conflicting information in deadly police shooting

DENVER -- There is conflicting information regarding an officer-involved shooting Sunday night in Denver between what a family says surveillance video shows and what police say happened.

Police shot and killed a man they say charged at them with a knife. But witnesses and surveillance video say otherwise.

The manager of Capital City mobile home park at 4501 W. Kentucky Ave. has the video. He wouldn’t give it to FOX31 Denver, but he did show it to reporter Tammy Vigil.

It shows Paul Castaway, 35, coming up from behind a white mobile home, through a black iron fence onto the street and around a wooden fence, which is a dead end.

He then turned back around onto the street with a knife to his neck the whole time, when an officer shoots him. The video seems to not match what police say happened.

“We will miss him. We’ll miss him,” said Castaway’s cousin, Thomas Morado.

Castaway’s family came to the street in the middle of the mobile home park where their cousin drew one of his last breaths.

“He was probably trying to figure out a place to run. And they didn’t let him go. They trapped him like a mouse and they killed him,” cousin Rick Morado said.

But Denver police said Castaway charged at two officers with a long knife before he was shot and killed. They say he had just threatened his mother with a knife at her nearby apartment at 4545 Morrison Road.

“Next thing, we heard three shots. I walked outside and I saw two officers handcuffing a man,” said a neighbor, who only gave his first name of Irvin.

He saw the aftermath and pointed out to police that surveillance cameras had captured everything.

“Either way, these cameras going to tell,” said Rick Morado, pointing to surveillance cameras positioned outside the management office and laundry room. It’s video that Castaway’s cousins also got to see and now they're convinced their cousin was murdered.

“This is really hard for us,” Thomas Morado said.

They lit sage on the spot where he laid dying. They said it is the proper way to send him home. A growing memorial pays tribute to a man who was a full-blooded rosebud Indian, a father and a man who made mistakes in his life -- and paid for it in the ultimate way.

“We don’t like the fact we lost another brother in the Native American community. It’s really a sad day for us,” Thomas Morado said.

Police initially said Castaway had stabbed his mother in her neck but later said he had threatened her with the knife, leaving her with a very superficial injury to her neck. But the mom’s neighbor said she doesn’t have any injury whatsoever.

Police said the surveillance video is a part of their investigation that will help determine who did what.


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