DENVER (KDVR) — A man was shot and killed by a Westminster police officer at an apartment complex Sunday night. Neighbors say the shooting followed days of escalation, including several recent police visits to the man’s home.
According to the Westminster Police Department, officers were called to the 1400 block of 116th Avenue about a man who was being held down by residents.
When officers arrived at the apartment complex, they found the suspect on the ground wrestling with several other people. WPD said an officer deployed a Taser, but it was not effective.
The police department said the man displayed a handgun during the struggle with one of the residents, and after ordering him to drop the weapon several times, an officer fired his gun and hit the man.
Police said officers began CPR and other emergency first aid. The man was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police visited man’s home 5 times since Friday
FOX31’s Vicente Arenas talked to a neighbor who said the man who was killed had been yelling racial obscenities, including slurs toward African Americans and Latinos, for several days, and that escalated on Sunday night.
Westminster police corroborated this, saying they’d been to the man’s address five separate times since Sept. 29, including one Sunday afternoon with a co-responder to speak with him. During all of those prior responses, Westminster police say he refused to answer the door or speak to officers.
The man’s next-door neighbor said she had been hearing a commotion next door for some time and called 911 on Sunday when she said his actions began to escalate.
She saw the man begin to fight with a resident in the parking lot.
“One of the neighbors tried to take him down because he was roaming around the parking lot punching cars, punching windshields, trying to take off side mirrors,” Lauren Gokey said.
The scene created frantic moments for those who heard the chaos break out. A woman who asked not to be identified said she ran into her apartment after hearing a gunshot.
The officer who fired their gun was placed on administrative leave, per protocol. An independent investigation will be conducted by the 17th Judicial Critical Incident Response Team.