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Family of teen shot by DOC officer asks DA to again consider filing criminal charges

Alexis Mendez-Perez was killed while running from an abandoned home that several teens had broken into.

DENVER — The family of a teenage burglary suspect who was shot in the back and killed two years ago was hopeful Tuesday that a meeting with Denver District Attorney Beth McCann might lead her to reconsider her decision not to file charges in the case.

The shooting happened April 23, 2020, when a then-Colorado Department of Corrections criminal investigator fatally shot Alexis Mendez-Perez in the back. The boy and some friends had broken into a vacant home, then scattered as police arrived to investigate.

Mendez-Perez was running through the investigator’s backyard when he was shot.

At the time, McCann said she could not file charges because she could not disprove that the investigator, Desmond Manning, was defending his own life or the lives of his family when he opened fire.

“She told us she’s going to take a look at it, so we’ll go from there,” Mendez-Perez’s sister, Ana Mendez, told 9Wants to Know after the meeting with McCann.

Carolyn Tyler, McCann’s spokeswoman, confirmed that the meeting occurred, saying in a statement that it is the district attorney’s “custom” to meet with families who have lost a child under violent circumstances.

“They had a good conversation about her reasons for not filing charges and all parties expressed their appreciation for having a constructive conversation,” Tyler said in the statement. “There were no commitments made.”

At the time McCann made her decision not to file charges, Mendez-Perez’s family was highly critical of her.

The incident unfolded early the morning in the 14500-block of East 51st Place in northeast Denver.

According to court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know, Mendez-Perez was running from a home he and others were suspected of breaking into when he hopped a fence and ran through the yard of an adjoining home owned by Manning, who at the time was a Department of Corrections criminal investigator.

Denver police arrested Manning at the scene on suspicion of second-degree murder, but he was later released without having to post bail.

His job at the Department of Corrections involved investigating crime within the prison system, and state records show he is certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, meaning he was a fully-fledged law officer and is allowed to carry a gun.

The Department of Corrections terminated him after the incident.

Manning is facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Mendez-Perez’s family in Denver District Court.

Contact 9Wants to Know investigator Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: kevin.vaughan@9news.com or 303-871-1862.

From June 2021: Hudson police officer charged with reckless endangerment following on-duty shooting earlier this year

From April 2021: One year later, Aurora family still seeking justice

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