Police shoot, kill suspect after altercation inside patrol car

DENVER — The suspect had lived at the Niagara Motel on E. Colfax Ave. for just one day when police came looking for him Tuesday morning.

Alicia Harrod saw the suspect’s gun by accident. Harrod cleans the motel’s guest rooms and around noon she let herself inside room 126. 

“I took the (bed) covers and pulled them off the bed and I saw the damn thing, and that’s when I’m like I’m out of here,” Harrod said. 

What happened next should have been a routine arrest.

“The police all went up there. They had guns and everything. They brought him down handcuffed, he looked all crazy at us and stuff,” said Cynthia Winston who saw the arrest. Police arrested the suspect for possession of drugs and possession of a firearm.

But everything stopped at E. 39th avenue near Monaco Pkwy. with gunfire, two police cars, and news of the suspect’s death. 

“It’s presumed he was handcuffed,” said Raquel Lopez with Denver Police. She says it looks like the suspect slipped it out of his handcuffs.

Police won’t say which of the two cars the officer who shot the suspect was driving. But they say he broke through the security partition inside the patrol car and attacked the officer who was driving him to jail.

The officer in the squad car that was following saw the first car swerve and drove up to help. 

“In the midst of the struggle the suspect was shot and transported to the hospital where he was pronounced (dead),” said Lopez.

An officer received minor injuries during the scuffle. They are said to be okay.  Police have not yet identified the suspect.