DA: Denver police justified in killing man with knife on South Federal Boulevard

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) —Denver Police legally and justifiably shot a man who allegedly came toward officers with the knife and ignored their commands, according to a district attorney review.

Around 6:45 p.m. on May 19, Denver Police responded to a report of a man with a knife at the corner of South Federal Boulevard and West Harvard Avenue. Officers encountered 52-year-old Raul Rosas-Zarsosa at the scene with apparent self-inflicted knife wounds.

“Attempts to stop Raul Rosas-Zarsosa first with pepper balls and then with a Taser had no effect,” said Denver County District Attorney Beth McCann. “Raul Rosas-Zarsosa was advancing toward these officers armed with a knife and got within approximately 12 feet of them before he was shot. I conclude that not only was this shooting legally justified, Officer (Katie) Phillips and her fellow officer demonstrated DPD training to use less lethal means to stop the threat before using deadly force.”

As the confrontation played out in the middle of the street, one officer fired pepper balls at the man. When that didn’t stop him, a second officer deployed his stun gun, Division Chief Ron Thomas said in a press conference after the incident.

No criminal charges will be filed against Officer Phillips.

Denver District AttorneyBeth McCann’s decision letter available for review. McCann will hold a community meeting about the incident.

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