Five Denver officers and one Aurora officer fired their guns at David Guillen on June 22nd.
AURORA, Colo – Six officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect in June following a kidnapping and carjacking will not be charged. This emerges from a decision letter from the 17th public prosecutor’s office.
Aurora and Denver Police Department officers were involved in the shootings near Abilene Street and East 35th Place in northern Aurora on June 22.
Aurora Police spokesman Crystal McCoy said the Denver Police Department (DPD) responded to a carjacking in the area of 48th Avenue and Chambers Road around 11 a.m.
According to the prosecutor’s decision, the later identified suspect David Guillen and his girlfriend went to Chambers Liquors in Denver and lured the shop clerk out with a ruse. The woman, who was not named in the letter, went into the shop and informed the employee identified in the letter as GK that she had thrown a ring under his vehicle, the letter said.
They both went outside so GK could move the vehicle to locate their ring, the letter said. When GK was moving his vehicle, Guillen got into the vehicle from the passenger side and threatened GK with a gun, according to the letter.
Guillen told the GK, “If you want to live, you will drive” and ordered him to follow his girlfriend, who had got into another vehicle, the letter says.
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An employee called 911 to report the kidnapping and DPD officers answered to look for the worker’s vehicle. Officer Dana Gerlach located GK’s vehicle and deployed a Starchase arrow, which is a GPS tracking device, the letter said.
According to the letter, in the Green Valley Ranch area, GK said he hit something on the vehicle and noticed cop cars behind him. Guillen “ordered” GK to evade the police and, according to the letter, said, “I don’t care if the lights are red or not if you stop dying.”
GK followed directions while “Guillen put his pistol in the right side,” the letter said, but he eventually stopped near Abilene Street and East 35th Place, a warehouse district in Aurora.
GK said he observed several officers nearby and Guillen ordered him to empty his pockets, the letter said. He did and when he saw Guillen look over his shoulder, he took the opportunity to run according to the letter.
Officer Gerlach saw GK running and watched Guillen aim a gun at people in the area, the letter says.
She gave Guillen the order to drop the gun according to the letter. Denver Det. Brent Curtis, Officer Javier Reyes, Officer Carlos Jacobo and Det. Randy Wagner came and also gave Guillen orders, the letter says.
According to the footage, Jacobo ordered Guillen to drop his weapon at least 13 times. Gerlach gave the order 27 times.
Aurora officer James Queisner also came to provide assistance. According to the letter, officials followed Guillen for more than seven minutes as he “continued to threaten officials and citizens in the area with his gun”.
Finally Queisner made the decision to drive his vehicle to Guillen to disarm him, the letter days. He hit him at a “very slow” speed, the letter said, and when he was hit, he fired one shot. Then he fell to the ground and dropped his weapon, the letter says.
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Although he “seemed injured,” “he did not surrender,” the letter says, he took his gun and pointed it directly at Reyes, who was firing at Guillen.
When the gunfire began, Guillen propped himself up on his elbow and pointed his weapon at officers.
Five other officers also fired, and the coroner found that Guillen had been beaten 23 times.
After a review, prosecutors declined to bring charges, stating, in part, that the lethal violence was justified because … Evidence supports the reasonable conclusion that the officers were in “imminent danger”. The body camera footage also confirmed officials’ reports that Guillen refused to order citizens and “threatened” citizens, the letter said.
Lethal force is also allowed if the suspect commits crimes such as kidnapping or serious robbery. In this case, the prosecutor said, “The evidence is very clear” that Guillen kidnapped and robbed GK
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