DENVER — Denver Police Department (DPD) said during an update Tuesday that officers shot and killed a man because they believed he was reaching for his gun.
The shooting happened on Sunday near East Colfax Avenue and Yosemite Street in East Denver, near the Aurora city limits.
Officers responded to an area around East Colfax Avenue and Ulster Street around 5:30 p.m. for a report of a man firing a gun into a parked vehicle, and found several .45 caliber bullet casings and a damaged car. DPD said it believes those bullet casings came from the suspect's gun.
DPD said a witness reported the suspect, later identified as 30-year-old Duane Manzanares Jr., was walking east on Colfax.
Officers located Manzanares near Colfax and Yosemite, and the suspect turned and faced them as they exited the vehicle, according to DPD.
Officers saw that Manzanares had a black .45 caliber handgun tucked in his waistband, DPD said.
Officers saw Manzanares drink a bottle of Fireball whisky in his hand, and DPD said they ordered him to put his hands on his head and to not reach for the handgun.
According to DPD, Manzanares then dropped the whisky bottle from his right hand and reached for the handgun, while moving his left hand behind his back and out of the officers' sight.
The three officers, concerned that Manzanares was not listening to their commands and appeared to be reaching for his gun, fired 11 gunshots toward him and then began live-saving measures, according to DPD.
DPD said Manzanares, who was hit by multiple bullets, was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. No officers were injured.
Officers said Manzanares appeared agitated and was non-compliant throughout the encounter, DPD said, and they said they knew the gun worked because of the previous scene near Ulster Street.
The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave, DPD said.
DPD said it was later determined the vehicle that suffered damage belonged to Manzanares, but he would have likely faced charges for firing the gun. Police are also investigating if he possessed the gun legally.
Anyone with information or video related to the incident is asked to contact DPD or call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.
Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers is notified at the conclusion of the investigation.
From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted.
> More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here.
> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here.
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