Denver police officer deemed justified in fatal shooting of man near downtown

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DENVER — Prosecutors say a police officer was justified when he shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at him during downtown Denver’s morning rush hour.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann wrote in a report released Wednesday that 22-year-old Christopher Barela smashed the windshield of a public bus before walking toward downtown firing a gun in the air July 1. One of the officers says he shot Barela after he pointed the gun in his direction.

Barela, who had methamphetamine in his system, was shot twice.

McCann says the officer was forced to make a split-second decision to shoot Barela in self-defense and in the defense of others in the area.

The officer has worked for the department for 18 years.

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