Suspect who fired shots at Denver, Aurora officers is person of interest in woman’s death

AURORA, Colo. -- A man who fired shots at police officers during a chase is a person of interest in the death of a 29-year-old woman over the weekend, the Aurora Police Department said Sunday.

Police responded to a report of an armed carjacking of a green GMC Yukon at East Colfax Avenue and Beeler Street about 11:50 a.m. Sunday.

Officers were already in the area and heard gunshots, and the Denver Police Department also received calls of gunshots being fired in the area.

Several callers said the driver of the carjacked vehicle was shooting at random bystanders, police said. No one was hurt, but some vehicles were damaged.

Police found the carjacked vehicle about 12:30 p.m. being driven on East Alameda Avenue and Havana Street.

Officers began pursuing the vehicle, during which the suspect, later identified as 33-year-old James Draper, fired up to four times at Aurora and Denver officers, police said.

A Denver police officer did a force stop at East Colfax Avenue and Yosemite Street. Draper was not cooperative, but officers were able to control and arrest him, and take him into custody.

"Officers from both the Aurora Police Department and Denver Police Department apprehended a very dangerous individual who demonstrated over and over his indifference to life and safety in our respective communities," Aurora police Chief Nick Metz said in a news release. "Gratefully, in this particular incident, officers had the opportunity to take this violent offender into custody without the need to employ deadly force."

Police said Draper is a person of interest in the death of a woman who was found at the Americana Apartments on Saturday morning.

On Monday, police identified that woman as Ashley Ross-Draper. She died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to investigators.

Anyone with information in the death at the Americana Apartments is asked to call Aurora police at 303-739-6092 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

Anyone who had property damaged in the Sunday incident is asked to call Aurora police at 303-627-3100 and file a police report.