Denver police say man used female as ‘human shield’ before officers shot and killed him

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Police Department provided new details Wednesday about a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred early Saturday morning near West Colfax Avenue and North Meade Street.

According to DPD, 33-year-old Christopher Escobedo was shot following a pursuit, firing his gun at officers and using a female as a human shield. Her age was not released.

The incident began early Saturday morning in Adams County, where Escobedo allegedly fled from a traffic stop.

Adams County deputies pursued Escobedo into Denver County.

DPD said Escobedo shot at law enforcement officers at least three times during the pursuit.

At one point, a female passenger in Escobedo’s vehicle called 911, saying he was going to kill her if police did not back away.

The 911 dispatcher could hear the driver screaming, police said.

DPD said “officers recognized the danger created by the vehicle pursuit and worked to employ force-stop methods to quickly terminate the pursuit.”

Officers tried to block in the driver near West Sixth Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard but were unsuccessful.

Near West 14th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, Adams County deputies deployed stop sticks, which were successful in deflating the suspect’s vehicle’s tires.

Escobedo eventually lost control at Conejos Place and Meade about 4:20 a.m.

He and the female exited the vehicle.

Escobedo then allegedly wrapped his arm around the female and used her as a “human shield,” police said.

After officers issued verbal commands and attempted to deescalate the situation, an Adams County deputy shot Escobedo.

He fell to the ground, allowing the female to escape.

Escobedo maintained control of his weapon and pointed it toward officers, according to police. At that point, two additional Adams County deputies and two Denver police officers fired their weapons.

Escobedo was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators recovered 51 shell casings at the site of the shooting. They also recovered a loaded, semi-automatic handgun and an additional magazine, police said.

DPD said there is no evidence Escobedo shot his weapon.

The DPD officers involved had body-worn cameras activated at the time. The Adams County deputies did not have body-worn cameras.

The Denver officers involved were hired in 2017 and 2018. Neither had been involved in a police shooting.

The Adams County deputies involved were hired in 2013, 2014 and 2018. None had been involved in a police shooting.

No officers were injured in the incident.

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