Denver area suspect fatally shot during patrol

Denver, CO – There was an investigation into a fatal police involved incident that occurred just northwest of the city of Denver in Westminster [1].

Officer discharges weapon and is placed on leave after fatal shot

In Westminster, a fatal police shooting occurred on July 25, 2023, leading to an ongoing investigation by the authorities. The incident took place at the intersection of West 88th Avenue and Lamar Drive, and the Westminster Police Department promptly reported the incident via Twitter at 5:28 p.m.

According to a news release issued by the police department, the shooting transpired when an officer was on a routine patrol in the 8800 block of Lamar at approximately 4:41 p.m. The officer noticed a silver SUV parked in the eastbound lanes of 88th Avenue, facing westbound. Subsequently, the officer approached the vehicle to engage in a conversation with the sole occupant inside, a woman. Shockingly, the woman was armed with a gun at the time.

In response to the apparent threat, the officer discharged his weapon, striking the driver. The woman, whose identity is yet to be released by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office pending family notification, was immediately taken to a hospital but was later pronounced dead. Fortunately, no other individuals were injured during the incident.

The crucial detail of whether the woman fired her weapon has not been disclosed by the police as of Tuesday.

Following standard procedure, the involved officer, who fortunately remained uninjured, has been placed on paid administrative leave while the 17th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) conducts a thorough investigation. The findings of the CIRT investigation will subsequently be reviewed by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office.

Due to the incident, West 88th Avenue was closed off between Pierce Street and Lamar for several hours, causing disruptions in the area.

The tragic event has raised questions and concerns among the community, prompting the need for a comprehensive investigation to ascertain the circumstances that led to the fatal shooting. The police will likely analyze available evidence, witness testimonies, and any potential body camera footage to gain a clearer understanding of the events that transpired.

As the investigation progresses, the community and the public at large will await further updates from the authorities to better comprehend the situation and the potential implications it may have on law enforcement practices in the region. Until then, details surrounding the motive of the woman and the officer’s decision to use lethal force remain under scrutiny.

What can happen to a police officer that fatally shoots a suspect under Colorado law?

Under Colorado law, when a police officer fatally shoots a suspect, the situation is subject to a comprehensive investigation to determine whether the officer’s actions were justified or whether they violated any laws or departmental policies. The process involves a thorough review of the incident by an independent investigative body, followed by potential legal consequences and administrative actions for the officer involved.

  • Independent Investigation: In cases of officer-involved shootings, an independent investigative team, often referred to as the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), takes charge of the investigation. The CIRT is composed of experienced investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies, ensuring impartiality and transparency during the process.
  • Legal Consequences: If the investigation reveals evidence that the officer’s use of deadly force was not justified under Colorado law, the officer may face criminal charges. The decision to charge the officer rests with the local district attorney’s office, which reviews the investigative findings and determines whether there is enough evidence to pursue criminal prosecution.
  • Self-Defense and Justification: Colorado law allows for the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers under specific circumstances. An officer can use deadly force if they reasonably believe it is necessary to protect themselves or others from imminent death or serious bodily injury. This concept is commonly known as “justifiable use of force” or “self-defense.”
  • Qualified Immunity: In some cases, police officers may be protected by qualified immunity, which shields them from personal liability for actions performed in the course of their duties, provided they did not violate clearly established constitutional rights. However, qualified immunity is not absolute, and it does not protect officers who engage in egregious misconduct or violate established legal principles.
  • Civil Lawsuits: In addition to potential criminal charges, officers involved in fatal shootings can face civil lawsuits filed by the victim’s family or estate. These lawsuits seek damages for wrongful death, excessive use of force, or violation of civil rights. Successful civil lawsuits against the police may result in financial compensation being awarded to the victim’s family.
  • Administrative Actions: Apart from legal consequences, police departments conduct internal administrative reviews to assess whether the officer adhered to departmental policies and procedures. If the officer is found to have violated departmental policies, they may face disciplinary action, which can range from retraining to termination.

It is crucial to emphasize that each officer-involved shooting case is unique, and the legal outcome can vary depending on the specific circumstances and evidence involved. The objective of the investigations is to ensure accountability and uphold the principles of justice and fair treatment for both law enforcement officers and the public they serve. Public scrutiny and the pursuit of transparency in these cases have led to ongoing discussions and reforms to improve policing practices and community relations.

Advice from a Denver police brutality lawyer

Bryan and Terrill Law is a firm that handles police brutality and misconduct claims for local clients in the Denver area. is a service that can provide lawyer referrals to those who call 800-672-3103

Firm contact info:

Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC

333 W. Hampden Avenue, #420B

Englewood, CO 80110