Denver police shoot man with knife on South Federal Boulevard

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Police vehicles line the road along Federal Boulevard with apartments in the background

Denver Police Department officers respond to the scene where an officer shot a man they said carried a knife near South Federal Boulevard and West Harvard Avenue on May 19, 2021. (KDVR)

DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Police said they shot and critically wounded a person with apparent self-inflicted knife wounds and who could not be subdued by pepper balls or a stun gun.

Police on Wednesday responded to a report of a man with a knife around 6:45 p.m. and located him at the corner of South Federal Boulevard and West Harvard Avenue, Division Chief Ron Thomas said in a press conference.

Thomas said the man came toward officers with the knife and ignored their commands.

As the confrontation played out in the middle of the street, one officer fired pepper balls at the man, and when that didn’t work to stop him, a second officer deployed his stun gun, Thomas said.

One of the officers ultimately fired multiple shots at the man, Thomas said. An ambulance was already headed to the call and arrived “very quickly” to transport the man to Denver Health, where he was last known to be in critical condition, he said.

Both officers involved in the incident were transported to department headquarters for interviews and will be subject to a multi-agency investigation, as is protocol.

Thomas did not directly say what kind of knife the man carried, although he confirmed it wasn’t a pocket knife and described it as “a threatening weapon.”

Federal Boulevard was closed in both directions at West Harvard Avenue for the investigation.

The shooting comes five days after Denver Police shot and killed a man they said was firing a handgun in the Barnum neighborhood and later, during a pursuit, at police.

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