ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — An Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office deputy will not face criminal charges in the shooting death of a man in March this year, the district attorney’s office said.
The 18th Judicial Critical Incident Response Team completed its review of the incident and concluded that Deputy Daniel Willmont did not commit a crime when he shot and killed Jamarian McGhee, 29, on March 3.
“My review is limited to the question of whether Deputy Willmont committed a crime in
the course of this incident. Based on my review of all materials, I find the evidence does not
support criminal charges against Deputy Willmont. The evidence supports the conclusion that
Deputy Willmont reasonably believed he was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury, which justified the use of deadly force,” District Attorney John Kellner said in the report.
Deputies contact McGhee, issue commands
McGhee was found sleeping in a reported stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the Woodhaven Apartments on the 7500 block of E. Harvard Avenue around 7:40 a.m. while Willmont was patrolling the complex. Willmont called for backup and deputies Kenneth Foley and Joshua Bandstra arrived. The three attempted to awake McGhee and repeatedly yelled at him to put his hands out of the 2017 bronze-colored Kia SUV.
When McGhee awoke, the report said he put his left hand out of the window but did not show his right hand after several demands for him to do so. He briefly raised his right hand but then lowered it and could vaguely be heard saying “I don’t want to fight” and “please,” the report said.
At that point, Foley took out his Taser and was in position to deploy. Willmont was set up behind the Kia armed with an AR-15 rifle behind the front door of a patrol vehicle for cover.
McGhee backs into patrol car toward Willmont
The report said after about 20 seconds, McGhee reversed the car into Foley’s patrol car, where Willmont was taking cover.
After striking the vehicle, Foley deployed the Taser and Willmont fired three rounds into the back of the Kia at McGhee.
“Willmont explained that he fired because the vehicle was coming directly towards him, and he believed the vehicle could have struck him and pinned him or knocked him down. Willmont explained that he was in fear for his life when he fired,” the report read.
After shots were fired, McGhee put the car in drive and ended up stopping at concrete steps. The report said the deputies removed McGhee from the Kia and placed him in handcuffs. They heard him moaning and then he went silent. The deputies realized he had been shot in the back, adminstered aid and called for medical emergency personnel. The report said McGhee died on scene.
The deputies discovered a .38 caliber handgun in McGhee’s pant leg and that he tested positive with methamphetamine.
Drug paraphenelia, marijuana, meth, ammunition, counterfeit money, credit cards, IDs and keys were also found in the Kia, the report said.