DENVER - A man who Denver Police believe is a bank robbery suspect has died after he was shot by an officer in an alley near the 16th Street Mall.
The suspect died at Denver Health after being transported to the hospital, according to Denver Police Department.
His name is John Bazemore III, according to the Office of the Medical Examiner, who released his autopsy report on Monday. He was 25 years old.
The official cause of his death is listed as "gunshot wounds."
Denver Police Chief Robert White said the shooting occurred just after 1 p.m. Friday in the area of 15th and Welton streets. The officer involved was not injured.
White says the officer, who was just coming on-duty, came to the area after he was flagged down by a citizen who said there had been a robbery at the ANB Bank at 16th and Welton streets.
The officer was one of the 16 to 20 that the Denver Police Department has permanently assigned to the 16th Street Mall, White said.
Justin Albright, who was in the area after getting lunch with a coworker, said after the officer got out of his vehicle, he heard multiple people nearby shout “Gun! Gun!” and run away.
White says the officer then approached the suspect, who hasn’t been identified by name, and asked him to drop his weapon. When he didn’t comply, the officer fired his gun multiple times.
White said a gun and evidence from the bank robbery were recovered at the scene.
The ensuing investigation prompted RTD to shut down Mall Ride the entire length of 16th Street, as well as announce that the D, F and H light rail lines would be delayed. Light rail service has since more or less returned to normal, RTD said.
As of 4:10 p.m., the Mall Ride service was reinstated.
White characterized the 16th Street Mall as a “popular area and very safe area” during a news conference Friday afternoon.
He said there has been a heightened police presence there in recently months both to “prevent these things from occurring” as well as to respond efficiently if they do happen.
The officer involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave per department policy. White did not identify him by name, but did say he had been with the force for less than 10 years.
White did not know if he was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting.
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