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Information from police following Englewood shooting limited, conflicting

A man was arrested for shooting at police. His brother was killed after officers returned fire. Englewood Police haven't said who shot him.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Four days after a deadly shootout at a home in Englewood, the Englewood Police Department released a video statement Thursday from the police chief offering new details, some of which contradicted the department's initial reports.

The incident at 5007 South Grove Street started with a 911 call at 7:39 p.m. on July 24. It ended with the death of Matthew Mitchell, 22, and the arrest of his older brother, Phillip Blankenship, 29.

Blankenship's mother called 911 and said her son was suicidal, intoxicated and had fired a gun in the house, according to an arrest affidavit.

RELATED: Man killed in shootout between Englewood Police and suspect identified

Blankenship is accused of firing shots at officers who responded to the house. Englewood Police said officers fired back, and Mitchell, who was inside the house with Blankenship, was killed by gunfire.

RELATED: Affidavit: Suspect's brother fatally shot in home after Englewood officers return fire

Englewood Police have not explicitly said who shot Mitchell.

The first information from Englewood Police came in the form of a news release that stated officers "were met with gunfire" when they arrived at the home.

In the video statement released Thursday, Police Chief Sam Watson stated the first shot was fired at officers at 8:07 p.m., 28 minutes after officers arrived at the house on South Grove Street.

Credit: KUSA

"Officers arrived and were able to get the reporting person and another family member out of the house and to safety," Watson said.

The initial news release and arrest affidavit do not make clear whether officers knew Mitchell was inside the home with his brother. The chief's statement on Thursday suggested officers did know.

"Officers then surrounded the house and started making announcements for both occupants to exit the residence," Watson said.

Watson stated that officers first took gunfire from a window on the east side of the house that struck a vehicle that officers were using for cover. An officer "immediately returned gunfire at the threat," Watson said.

Eighteen seconds later, Watson said shots came from a second window that struck a patrol car. Again, an officer returned fire, Watson said.

Credit: KUSA

At 8:09, Watson said Blankenship came out the front door and surrendered to police.

"When officers were able to do so safely, they entered the house and discovered a subject with a gunshot wound laying in close proximity to the front, east side window," Watson said.

Englewood Police Chief Sam Watson provides additional information regarding the officer-involved shooting on July 24th, 2022.

Posted by Englewood Police Department on Thursday, July 28, 2022

Mitchell "sustained gunshot wounds" and died from his injuries, according to the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office.

The officers who fired their guns were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting, Watson said. The video has not been released to the public.

"The recordings will reveal the extreme risk that the officers and community faced in this event," Watson said.

9NEWS made repeated requests to speak with Englewood Police on camera. Those requests were denied. 

Englewood city leaders have been silent on the shooting.

RELATED: Few details released about fatal shooting involving Englewood police

In the early morning hours of July 17 in downtown Denver, Denver police officers shot and injured a man they said had a gun. Six bystanders were also injured by gunfire, and only police officers fired their weapons. Denver Police has still yet to say if their officers were responsible for the injuries to the bystanders.

RELATED: DPD officers shoot man in LoDo; 5 others in crowd injured

The next day, Mayor Michael Hancock answered questions about the shooting in a one-on-one interview with reporter Jeremy Jojola.

Three days after the shooting, Denver Police held a news conference. A lieutenant took questions, even if he did not answer all of them.

Englewood has seven city councilmembers, including one they pick to be mayor.

On Friday, Englewood Mayor Othoniel Sierra released the following statement:

The City of Englewood has been notified that a judge has signed a court order that prevents us from discussing any information related to the July 24 police-involved shooting in the city. We value transparency and to date have released all known facts related to this case.

 We are all saddened that a life was lost, a family is grieving and Englewood Officers have been traumatized by this tragic event.

 It is our hope that our entire community can move forward and recover from the devastating impacts of that day as we await the results of an independent investigation by the 18th Judicial District.


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