The fatal shooting of David Guillen by the Aurora and Denver police is justified, according to DA rules
Six Denver and Aurora police officers are not prosecuted for shooting and killing a man suspected of abducting a liquor store employee at gunpoint, setting the police on a chase and pointing a gun at police officers and others .
Officials shot David Guillen, 22, from Denver at least 23 times on June 22, and said he aimed a gun at officials and others in the area, according to a letter from 17th District Attorney Dave Young his decision explained not to incriminate the officers.
“The evidence supports the objectively reasonable conclusion that all officers were in imminent danger of death or serious injury,” wrote Young.
The incident started when Guillen’s friend asked the owner of Chamber Place Liquors to move his car so she could look for a ring that the letter said she had dropped underneath. When the owner got into his car to move it, Guillen jumped into the passenger seat and told the man with a gun to drive or he would kill him. The friend got into her car and Guillen told the man to follow her.
Police searched for the owner’s car after a liquor store employee called 911. A Denver police officer found the car and used the department’s tool that allowed officers to shoot a GPS tracker at a car to track Guillen’s whereabouts. The liquor store owner eventually stopped at East 35th Place and Abilene Street just south of Interstate 70 in Aurora and escaped the car.
Police found Guillen near the car and followed him for more than seven minutes as he walked through the area warehouses. Guillen ignored the officers’ orders to drop his gun and, according to the letter, pointed the gun at several people in the area. One of the officers hit Guillen with his patrol car and threw Guillen to the ground. When Guillen fell, he fired a bullet and dropped the gun when it hit the ground, the letter says. Guillen picked up the gun and pointed it at an officer who opened fire.
Six officers – Brent Curtis, Dana Gerlach, Javier Reyes, Carlos Jacobo, Randy Wagner and James Quiesner – shot a total of 32 rounds at Guillen, according to the letter. At least 23 of the bullets hit Guillen, who died on the scene.
Still images captured by officers’ body-worn cameras in Young’s letter show Guillen aiming a gun at officers and others.
Young wrote in his letter that the officers sensibly feared for their lives and that of others.