DPD addresses officers shooting, killing man with long gun and man dying in custody

DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Police Department is addressing two separate “critical incidents” from November in a media briefing on Wednesday.

The department released body-worn footage of the two incidents.

Two separate officers’ footage was shared of police responding to Commons Park on Nov. 20 for a report of a man chasing and yelling at people while carrying a rifle, and one officer’s footage was shared of a medical event suffered by a man in police custody on Nov. 15.

According to DPD, the footage is being shared to increase transparency. Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas and DPD Major Crimes Division Commander Matt Clark are expected to speak during the press conference.

Officers shoot, kill man in Commons Park

Body-worn camera footage was released of two officers who responded to Commons Park and shot and killed a man on Nov. 20 after he was reportedly chasing and yelling at people while carrying a rifle.

According to Thomas, the officers were called to the park near 16th Street and the South Platte River around 3:40 p.m. Officers reported seeing a man carrying what appeared to be a long gun and quickly engaged with the suspect.

In the footage, officers can be seen arming themselves with long guns and shouting at the suspect to drop his weapon. According to Thomas, the suspect fired shots at the officers, striking a vehicle. Two officers returned fire, hitting and killing the suspect.

Commons Park is located behind Union Station. There are many apartment buildings in the area, and it’s a popular spot for residents to walk their dogs and spend time doing other outdoor activities.

DPD said there were no injuries to officers or other people in the park.

Man dies of ‘medical event’ in DPD custody

At 11:55 p.m. on Nov. 14, a 36-year-old man called Denver 911 from the area of 1331 Speer Blvd. to report that he was having a heart attack and people were coming to rob him.

According to Denver 911, the man sounded agitated and was yelling at the call-taker.

The Denver Fire Department and Denver Health Paramedic Division personnel first responded to the scene and found the man. According to DPD, the personnel attempted to render aid, but the man became combative and walked away from the ambulance.

Shortly after walking away, the man allegedly threw a concrete block at the entrance of a building and broke the glass. Denver Police were then dispatched to the scene and found the man at 12:14 a.m.

The man ran away from police and officers did not initiate a chase. Instead, officers called for backup.

At 12:17 a.m., security personnel at a building in the 900 block of W. 14th Avenue called 911 to say that a man had damaged a window of the building. Security told DPD they had tried to stop the man from entering and he reportedly punched and bit them.

Security said they had struck the man to stop the attack.

Body-worn camera footage shows officers arriving at the building at 12:20 a.m., and the man was being held down by two security guards. DPD officers immediately handcuffed the suspect.

In the footage, officers searched the man and asked him a few times if he could remember his first name, sit up and other basic commands. The man can also be seen breathing after he was handcuffed.

Officers then sat the man against the wall and checked for a pulse, feeling nothing. Footage shows an officer returning to his patrol vehicle to get Narcan, which is used to reverse opioid overdoses, and another officer began CPR.

Two doses of Narcan reportedly had no effect, and the man was transported to Denver Health.

At approximately 6 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, he was pronounced dead.

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