The shooting happened just after midnight on Sunday morning, near the intersection of Louisiana and Patton after reports of gunshots in the area. Police say one of the officers fired at the suspect after he aimed a handgun at them.
Witness Sunshine Alonso says he heard about six gunshots, and then ran out to his porch.
"They were telling him, 'Shut up.' He was screaming the whole time, really loud, screaming for his life. They just kept beating him and beating him, and all of a sudden I didn't hear any more sounds at all. There was no more screaming," Alonso said.
Another witness told 9NEWS an officer was on top of the suspect, beating him with a pistol.
Denver Police Spokesperson Sonny Jackson says the suspect struggled with officers who were trying to restrain him. And he put up a fight, even though he had been shot.
"Once this individual had been shot, he was still combative. And they (officers) were trying to get him restrained so that at that point in time... even after being shot, he was still fighting," he said.
When asked whether the officers punched the man, as reported by witnesses, Jackson said he didn't know. But he added that officers are often still in danger, even after a suspect has been shot.
"Unfortunately, people who have been shot have shot people at the same time. This man had a loaded weapon on him and next to him. The fact is, just because a person has been shot doesn't mean the threat has stopped," he said.
Jackson says police had to kick the man's weapon out of his hand after he was shot.
Investigators are still looking to talk to more witnesses, including those who say they witnessed police use excessive force. One man told 9NEWS he witnessed police hit the man, but he was too afraid to give a statement to the officer. Jackson says the police department has private independent monitors, who are not Denver Police Department employees, who will take witness statements.
"We are very open," he said. "We want to be transparent."
The Denver Coroner's Office hasn't completed an autopsy on the man, whose name has not been released. As of Monday afternoon, the office was still in the process of notifying next-of-kin. There is no timeline for completion of the autopsy, which could include a toxicology report. The autopsy will also name an official cause of death.
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