COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The District Attorney's Office will not file charges against the Commerce City Police Department (CCPD) officers who shot and killed a man who shot at his ex-wife and led police on a short chase in February.
Dave Young, District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District, announced his decision in a letter released Thursday.
The letter says the four officers who fired their weapons at David Heeke on February 14 "reasonably believed it was necessary to defend themselves from what they perceived to be the imminent use of deadly physical force by Mr. Heeke."
>> The video above is from the day the shooting occurred.
Around 7 a.m. that day, officers responded to the area of 113th Avenue and Iola Street in Commerce City when Heeke's ex-wife called police to report that Heeke had shot at her, the letter says.
As the woman was backing her vehicle out of her driveway that morning, she told officers she saw Heeke driving a truck directly at her. The letter says Heeke hit her car with his truck, then got out and approached her holding a gun.
Heeke's ex-wife backed up and drove off, and the letter says he fired two shots at her while she fled. Both missed and the woman was not hurt, the letter says.
According to the letter, Heeke then drove away from the area in his truck.
As officers were responding to the call, the letter says they saw Heeke in the area of 104th Avenue and Potomac Street and attempted to pull him over.
Heeke refused, according to the letter, and led officers on a short chase that ended when he hit another vehicle near 104th Avenue and Blackhawk Street.
The letter says officers told Heeke to show his hands and get out of the car several times. Instead, he opened the driver's side door of the truck and held up only his left hand, according to the letter.
Officers on scene said Heeke told them he couldn't hold up his right hand because he had a gun. At some point, the letter says, he moved forward and raised his right hand.
This is when the letter says four CCPD officers fired their weapons at Heeke:
- Officer Andrew Saracino fired six times
- Officer Oscar Morales fired eight times
- Sergeant Talon Darling fired six times
- Officer Joe Neville fired 11 times
According to Heeke's autopsy report, he was shot 12 times. His blood alcohol concentration at the time of his death was .256, the report says. As a point of reference, the legal limit for driving is .08.
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