Denver DA releases decision letters on fatal police shootings of two armed men

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The Denver District Attorney’s Office connected Wednesday released 2 decisions letters connected fatal constabulary shootings earlier this year, clearing officers of transgression charges successful the incidents.

The abstracted shootings happened May 30 and June 13, resulting successful the deaths of Shannon Wright and Duane Manzanares, respectively. Wright was changeable astatine South Platte River Drive and West Alameda Avenue, Manzanares astatine 8890 E. Colfax Ave. Both men were armed, Wright with a firearm and Manzanares with a handgun tucked into the backmost waistband of his pants.

The DA’s probe concluded that the shootings of Wright and Manzanares were legally justified and that nary transgression charges are warranted against the Denver officers involved, according to the Aug. 4 determination letters to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen.

Officers William Bartz and Richard Eberharter were progressive successful the shooting of Wright. Officers Samuel Bailey, Ryan Nelson and Steven Whiteman were progressive successful the shooting of Manzanares.

On May 30, constabulary received a telephone astir a man, Wright, carrying a rifle who had conscionable near a store without paying for items. Wright told the store clerk that helium was “out contiguous shooting police,” according to the determination letter.

Bartz and Eberharter responded and encountered Wright with a firearm slung implicit his shoulder. The officers commanded Wright to driblet the weapon, but helium alternatively raised the firearm and pointed it astatine the pair, the determination missive said. Bartz, equipped with a rifle, fired twice. Eberharter, equipped with a handgun, fired 3 times. Wright was taken to a section infirmary wherever helium died. Investigators recovered a weapon, a Norinco SKS battle rifle, astatine the country on with a integrative container of ammunition.

The officers were forced to marque a split-second determination to sprout Wright successful self-defense and the defence of others, according to the missive signed by District Attorney Beth McCann.

Their enactment was justified nether Colorado instrumentality and ineligible requirements, the missive said.

Manzanares was changeable June 13 connected East Colfax Avenue aft helium fired a handgun astatine a Mercedes-Benz automobile. When officers encountered him the weapon was tucked into the backmost waistband of his pants, the determination missive said. Manzanares refused orders to rise his hands and was argumentative with police. He reached for the weapon successful the tiny of his back, which the officers had observed portion responding to the incident, and the officers fired.

Bailey fired 4 times, Nelson doubly and Whiteman 5 times, according to the letter.

Manzanares, who lived successful Pueblo, was successful Denver astatine the clip due to the fact that his 8-year-old lad had been diagnosed with leukemia and was in an country hospital.

Officers’ assemblage camera footage was among the grounds considered successful some shooting investigations. Like successful the Wright shooting, officers made a split-second determination based connected their information and the information of others, according to the Manzanares determination letter.

Manzanares’ household members, including his mother, Mary Ann Medina, attended a presumption by the DA’s bureau Wednesday, which included viewings of assemblage camera footage.

“I watched the video, it was a disgusting show of organized crime,” Medina said of the shooting. “They cold-blooded murdered my son.”

Officers made nary effort to de-escalate the encounter, Medina said.

Manzanares had reached to his backmost pouch for a vessel of whiskey erstwhile helium was shot, she said.

“My lad did not privation to die, you could spot it successful his face.”

McCann volition sermon the cases and contiguous findings successful an online assemblage meeting connected Tuesday, Aug. 17, astatine 5:30 p.m. astatine

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