GREELEY – A 21-year-old man whose family told authorities was a veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder was shot by police early Wednesday morning shortly after allegedly telling a 911 dispatcher that "they are going to have a shoot-out."
**9NEWS has learned the man never deployed overseas**
A caller told the Weld County Regional Communications Center just before 3 a.m. Wednesday the man was outside a residence in the 1300 block of Fourth Street. The caller said the man was intoxicated and had two or three guns on him – including an AR-15 rifle, according to a news release from the Greeley Police Department.
The victim has been identified as Jacinto Zavala, 21, of Greeley.
When officers arrived, they say they saw Zavala pacing in front of the residence. They told him to raise his hands. That's when police say he pointed a long gun at the officer and was shot.
He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
No police officers were injured during the incident, according to the news release.
Investigators can't say which branch of the military Zavala served in.
Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner issued the following statement about the incident:
"I am both saddened and angry that this individual put our young officers and their families through this. I am equally sad that he inflicted pain on his own family members."
Zavala's family issued the following statement:
First and foremost we are at a major loss, we are all deeply wounded by the actions taken today by the GPD. Jacinto was a bright and honorable man who would have taken the shirt off his back and given it to anyone in need.Granted the actions that took place this morning were not ideal we feel there was no need to gun down our loved one. Jacinto was a veteran who loved his family and country with no criminal record, we deeply question the excessive force that was used to neutralize Jacinto and we believe our 21 year old family member was unjustly taken from us. Our family member who witnessed the incident stated Jacinto never lifted the bb gun which was the only "weapon" found on the scene, nor did any officer tell him to put the bb gun down before they fired.She stated it was very apparent it was a bb gun as she screamed out for him he turned and was fired upon. She said he kept it pointed at the ground; (down range) as he had been trained to do. We are waiting on more evidence to make clear the actions that took place.Today was one of the biggest tragedies our family has ever experienced and we have every intention to make the public aware that Jacinto was an amazing valuable person. We expect that trained professionals would have taken better non lethal efforts and given our young family member an opportunity to get help if needed but not rob him and us of such an amazing individual. Please say prayers for our family during our tremendous loss.
The Weld County District Attorney's Office is investigating the incident.
9NEWS has learned Zavala served in the Army National Guard in Wyoming. According to his record, Private Zavala served from October 2011 through December 2013.
His record shows Zavala's was trained in Fort Lee, VA from January through July 2012 and was assigned to 960th Battalion Support Brigade in Casper WY from October 2011 through December 2013.
He was awarded a National Defense Service Medal and an Army Service Ribbon.
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