Suspect killed in Westminster officer-involved shooting identified

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. — The man shot and killed by Westminster Police Department officers Thursday has been identified.

57-year-old Michael Gonzales of Denver was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Medical Center following an alleged shoplifting and pursuit. Police said Gonzales shoplifted alongside Joshua Valencia, 44, near 120th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard around 2:10 p.m. Thursday.

Police received a call reporting the theft and saying loss-prevention employees had been threatened with a knife.

When officers arrived at the scene, Valencia fled on foot. He was later arrested and charged with theft.

Gonzales tried to elude officers in a car, according to authorities.

Officers pursued Gonzales and made a number of attempts to stop his vehicle. Police say Gonzales tried to hit an officer who was out of his patrol car.

“The officer then fired his gun and struck the male driver,” police said in a statement Thursday.

The 17th Judicial District Critical Incident Team is investigating the shooting.

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