Englewood police shoot, kill man “reaching for gun”

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- What started as a stolen car traffic stop at Broadway and Dartmouth around 4:30 p.m. Thursday ended several hours later when a police officer shot and killed a man who allegedly had been threatening people, including officers.

The investigation into this police shooting continues Friday.

According to Englewood Police spokesman Brad Johnson, officers arrested the driver of the stolen car and at least one other person and were waiting for a tow truck when a man in a white Mustang pulled into the lot. Police recognized him as a possible known associate of the other two.

Officers say the suspect "backed up like he was going to take a run" at them in the car, but instead, he "made a move like he was reaching for a gun." That's when an officer shot the man, Johnson told FOX31 Denver.

"The subject was reaching for what appeared to be a weapon in his waistband," Johnson says.

Lonnie Eastwood and his family were in a vehicle when they turned the corner and came upon the scene. They saw and heard two police officers yelling at the man in the Mustang.

"They told him to stop, get out of the car," Eastwood says. "The next thing I know I just started seeing them shooting. I didn't know if they were shooting toward us or shooting the guy in the car. It freaked me out."

The man was transported to Swedish Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

A group of customers from the Walgreens marched across the parking lot to an RTD bus where investigators questioned them about what they saw happen. Like the Eastwoods, they were pretty shaken up. "When they started shooting, I hollered at them to get down," Eastwood says.

Johnson says the suspect did not shoot, but investigators did find a gun in his car, and police are working to confirm whether the suspects taken into custody earlier were known associates to the man who was shot.

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation into the shooting, which is standard procedure in officer involved shootings.