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Lawyer of man shot by Aurora officer says police did not properly identify themselves

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AURORA, Colo. -- The attorney representing a man who was injured in an officer-involved shooting says Aurora officers did not properly identify themselves prior to the incident.

Andrew Huff, 22, was shot about 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 in the 1500 block of South Bahama Street.

Huff's wife, Leah Freeman, says she no longer feels comfortable in their home. Bullet holes pepper her front window, one even carving through her kitchen into her bedroom door.

Freeman says the night of Oct. 10, Huff was on edge after receiving threats from a former roommate, George Gutierrez.

An arrest affidavit says Gutierrez was the one who called police, telling investigators he was kicked out of the home earlier that day, was beat up and claims Huff held a gun to his head after a dispute over stolen property.

READ: Huff's arrest affidavit

That’s what lead officers to Huff’s home. When officers arrived, they saw Huff standing next to a truck. Several officers reported Huff ran into his home when police walked toward him.

The affidavit says several officers saw Huff standing in his living room in front of a large window. One officer even waved at Huff and “was certain Andrew Huff saw her and recognized her as a police officer.”

An officer knocked on the door, but nowhere in the affidavit does it mention officers verbally identifying themselves as police. A press release says Huff reappeared in front of the window with a shotgun.

That’s when one of the officers opened fire.

“I was legitimately scared that Andy was going to die,” Freeman said. “That I was going to die.”

Freeman says she just put her 3-year-old daughter to bed when the shooting occurred.

“Andy screamed, ‘I was shot,’” Freeman said. “When I ran out into the hallway, I saw him fall backwards. I turn him over and there it is, on the upper portion of his buttocks on his back and he’s bleeding profusely.”

Police say Huff never fired his weapon and all officers were in full uniform.

“Andy said that he saw five people outside with guns on them,” Freeman said. “But he didn’t say that they were police.”

Freeman says Huff needed surgery on a severed rectum and now needs to use a colostomy bag.

“It’s hard to imagine something that’s more unnecessary than this,” said Birk Baumgartner, Huff's attorney. “Aurora police parked their cars off the street, snuck into Andy Huff’s front yard. No identification, no announcement. And they shot him in the back through his window.”

Freeman is worried about the lasting impact this will have, not only on her husband as he recovers, but her young daughter who had to witness the aftermath.

“She needs professional help,” Freeman said. “She’s going to remember this for I don’t know how long.”

FOX31 has filed an open records request for all body camera footage related to the shooting. In a press release, Aurora police said, “We recognize trust in our community hinges on accurate transparency in all critical incidents, especially in officer-involved-shootings. Senate Bill 15-219 is designed to not only provide a thorough investigation, but also transparency. We will release the body worn camera footage when we can do so in a manner that does not impede any future court proceedings.”

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