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Aurora officer accidentally shot suspect following chase in Denver

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DENVER -- Police say an Aurora officer unintentionally fired his gun Thursday night, injuring an unarmed suspect following a chase in Denver.

At a news conference, police say the officer may have lost his footing in icy conditions when he accidentally fired the shot.

“The gun did not hit something and go off, it is not like the weapon was dropped and hit the ground,” Commander Ron Saunier, with Denver Police said.

Christopher Padilla

Christopher Padilla

The suspect has been identified as 20-year-old Christopher Padilla. The Aurora police officer who was following Padilla is part of a task force that works to solve auto theft crimes in the metro area. In this case, Commerce City was requesting assistance with Padilla. The officer’s name has not been released.

Padilla is listed in critical condition however he is expected to survive.

According to Saunier, Padilla has at least two outstanding warrants and will be charged with car theft once he is released.

“The area that he was shot is kind of the upper left quadrant,” Saunier said.

The officer's name has not been released, but he is a 16-year member of Aurora Police and officials say he has been placed on administrative leave.

Police said the suspect was shot in the 4500 block of Ivy Street following a brief chase of a stolen vehicle.

Multiple agencies responded to the shooting scene.

Because the shooting happened within the city, Denver Police are leading the investigation. The Denver DA will determine if charges against the officer will be filed.