Denver DA says 3 Aurora police officers in shootout were justified in use of force

Three Aurora police officers, who shot at a suspect in an exchange of gunfire in Denver, were justified in their use of force, according to investigators.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office on Thursday announced that officers Paul Jerothe, Brett Iske and Michael Neumeyer, who were part of a Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force SWAT unit at the time of the July 27 incident, were “legally justified” in firing their weapons at 22-year old Dontari Hudson.

The shootout happened at 4775 N. Argonne St. and both Iske and Jerothe were hit by gunfire from Hudson, according to a decision letter sent to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen. Neumeyer suffered cuts and abrasions in the incident.

Hudson, a suspect in a series of armed robberies when he was encountered by the officers, fired 11 shots from a Glock semi-automatic handgun at the officers, according to the letter. The officers fired dozens of shots and a vehicle, which Hudson was allegedly attempting to carjack, was riddled with gunfire.

A mother and daughter, who were at the scene and were victims’ of the attempted carjacking, narrowly escaped, according to the letter.

Hudson was shot and was taken to Denver Health Medical Center. He has been charged with three counts of criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, among other felony charges. A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Oct. 23.

The officers “reasonably believed that a lesser degree of force would have been inadequate and that they were in imminent danger of being killed or receiving additional serious bodily injury,” the decision letter said.

 

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