DENVER -- A state trooper shoots and kills a suspect during an undercover auto theft operation.
It happened about 1:45 p.m. Friday outside the Ramada Plaza hotel at 48th and Bannock.
The life of a suspected car thief is over during an undercover auto theft operation.
The suspect’s handgun was seen in the street.
He pulled it on a state trooper who was working undercover during an arrest.
“I happened to see a couple people fighting in the street,” says witness Anthony Sisneroz.
He saw it all while driving back to work.
“As I looked in the rear view mirror, I seen someone stand back, reach for their belt. He pulled a pistol out and all I heard was one shot. That was it,” he says.
He took a bullet to the chest.
Denver Police say the trooper had no choice but to shoot.
“Suspect tried to flee the trooper, the trooper gave chase, tried to get him under control, apprehend him. In the midst of doing that, the suspect produced a weapon, and the officer fired his weapon for his safety and others,” says Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson.
Officers then swarmed the scene.
SkyFox captured dramatic footage as officers pulled their guns on three men in the Ramada Plaza parking lot.
All were forced to put their hands behind their backs, walk backwards, and then be placed in handcuffs while investigators figured out if they were connected to the deadly shooting.
“I wouldn’t say they are suspects but persons of interest we’re talking to at this time to see if they had any involvement in the situation,” says Jackson.
It turns out they didn’t.
And Sisneroz’s involvement has left him with questions about violence in the middle of the street that left one man dead.
“Left you shocked, wondering what had led to that whole situation where you had to shoot,” he says.
Police could not say how the suspect and trooper came to be in the middle of this street. Was the suspect walking, did he get pulled over?
But the only car we saw here was a red mustang that police say had nothing to do with the shooting.
The unidentified trooper is on routine paid leave during the investigation.