AURORA, Colo. -- In pursuit of a stolen car, two Aurora Police officers shoot and kill the suspect late Monday night.
It started when Aurora Police were alerted to a stolen silver Jeep Cherokee on East Colfax Avenue around 8:46 p.m. that had eluded police officers several times in the past week, fleeing from officers during traffic stops.
Aurora Police said previous encounters with the suspect vehicle all involved the driver apparently baiting officers into pursuit by slowing down to allow officers to catch up, then speeding up again, in one instance reportedly waving his hands out of the window, signaling officers to catch up with him.
At approximately 11:36 p.m. on the same date Aurora Police officers located the stolen vehicle parked in the 7-Eleven parking lot at 1103 Yosemite Street, and one suspect was inside the vehicle in the driver’s seat. The Jeep was parked in a parking space facing the building, and one Aurora Police patrol car parked behind the suspect vehicle to prevent it from leaving.
Aurora Police say at this time, the driver began to intentionally ram the Aurora Police patrol car and the 7-Eleven building in an effort to get out from the pinned position.
The 7-Eleven building had approximately six people inside at the time and a propane tank cage against the storefront. Additionally, a car occupied by a child and adult were in a vehicle next to the Jeep. One Aurora police officer became positioned between the building, a RedBox movie dispenser and the propane tank cage, limiting the officer’s ability to withdraw. All of these factors created a significant danger to the lives of the employees, patrons, and the involved officers.
As a result of the suspect’s actions, two police officers fired at the suspect in the stolen vehicle, incapacitating the suspect.
The suspect was immediately removed from the vehicle and aid was rendered. The suspect was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The identity of the suspect was not known and will be released by the Denver County Coroner's office once the identity has been confirmed and next of kin have been notified.
The officer’s names are not being released at this time, Aurora Police said. One officer has been employed by the Aurora Police Department for 12 years, and has had one prior officer involved shooting. The second officer has been employed by the Aurora Police Department for two years with prior law enforcement experience, and has not been involved in any prior officer involved shootings.
The Aurora Police officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Yosemite Street and 11th Avenue reopened before 7 a.m. after being closed for several hours.
The officer was not injured during this incident. Investigation of this officer involved shooting continues.