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Man shot and killed by Denver officer was holding a marker

Brandon Cole was killed in the shooting Aug. 5 on West Cedar Avenue.

DENVER — The Denver Police Department said a man was holding a black marker when he was shot and killed by an officer on Aug. 5. 

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Chief Ron Thomas and Major Crimes Commander Matt Clark gave information on the events that led up to the officer shooting and killing 36-year-old Brandon Cole.

Clark said officers were called to the 2300-block of West Cedar Avenue for a domestic violence report just before 8 p.m. A 911 caller told dispatchers that a man had possibly pushed his wife out of a wheelchair and was "going after" his teenage son. 

The caller, according to police, didn't see any weapons and thought Cole had been drinking. Toxicology results are still pending. 

> Watch the full news conference below. 

A male and female officer arrived and saw a woman propping herself up in a gutter with a wheelchair nearby, Clark said. The woman told the female officer she needed an ambulance.

"Before an ambulance could be summoned or further investigation conducted regarding the possible domestic violence incident, the attention of both officers became focused on the male," Clark said. 

The officers then saw Cole reach inside the driver's side of a vehicle. When he stepped away from the vehicle he began challenging the male officer, who was standing in front of him, by taking an "aggressive stance and saying, 'Let's go,'" Clark said.

The female officer was behind Cole and said she saw that he had something in his right hand that she believed to be a knife, Clark said. Cole then began moving toward the male officer in front of him while the officer pulled out his Taser and moved back from Cole while trying to de-escalate the situation, Clark said.

"Attempted to de-escalate the male by calling his name and speaking calmly with him," Clark said.

The female officer, who had been behind Cole, had moved behind a vehicle to the side, according to Clark. Cole then began coming toward her, Clark said. The male officer fired his Taser at Cole but one of the probes did not hit him and therefore was ineffective, Clark said.

Cole got within a few feet and the female officer, fearing for her safety, fired two rounds, striking Cole, Clark said.

A young child and an adult were behind Cole during the shooting. Thomas said there wasn't an opportunity for the female officer to transition to a Taser. 

"When she deploys her duty weapon, the person is so close to her that her view of that young child and that person are not clear to her," Thomas said. "I don't think there was much time to act before she was overrun by that individual."

Cole fell to the ground and dropped the object that was in his hand. It was found that the object was a black marker, Clark said.

The officers applied multiple tourniquets and gave him chest compressions until medics could rush him to a hospital in an ambulance, Clark said. Cole was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Witnesses at the scene told police they believed Cole had a weapon in his hand when the shooting occurred, Clark said.

Denver Police said they don't know many details about what happened before officers arrived. According to Thomas, Cole's wife has decided to not provide a statement to investigators at this point.

The Denver District Attorney's Office is investigating the shooting.

CONTENT WARNING: The body camera videos below show a man being shot and may be difficult to watch. Viewer discretion is advised.

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