Update: Ian Santamaria Shot Himself as Deputies Approached in I-225-at-Tamarac Stop

Ian Santamaria. Additional photos, a video and more below.
Ian Santamaria. Additional photos, a video and more below.

Update: Yesterday morning, we told you about the death of a man near the Tamarac exit on Interstate 225; he'd died of a gunshot wound after allegedly passing deputies on a traffic stop too closely. (See our previous coverage below.) Now, police are reporting that Santamaria shot himself during the very strange incident. Continue for photos, a video and additional details.

See also: Update: Denver Cops Say Man They Killed at Funeral Home Rammed Cruisers, Injured Officer

Photos from the scene courtesy of 7News.
Photos from the scene courtesy of 7News.

As we noted in our original piece, initial reports from the scene stated that a vehicle zoomed closely past two Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office deputies making a traffic stop near I-225 and Bellevue around 11:15 p.m. Sunday. Another pair of deputies eventually stopped the car in question near the Tamarac exit of I-225, and after checking on the suspect's ride, they approached the vehicle, at which point shots were said to have been exchanged. The man died at the scene, and while a deputy was also injured, he wasn't shot.

Clarification followed. The Denver Police Department, which helped investigate the incident, reveals that Santamaria fired a shot at himself. The bullet then exited the vehicle, causing one of the deputies to be struck by debris. Hearing the gunfire and seeing the injury to deputy one, deputy two discharged his own weapon in the direction of the suspect.

The last report from the Denver coroner's office doesn't offer a definitive cause of death for Santamaria. That presumably means it's yet to be determined whether he died from his own gunshot, that of the deputy or a combination thereof.

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Why did Santamaria choose to shoot himself rather than surrender? We may never know the answer to that question definitively, but reports accessed by 7News turned up a number of his previous run-ins with the law.

Among them: "a 2009 conviction for eluding Douglas County sheriff's deputies," plus eight arrests for driving with a revoked or suspended license. Three women also had protection orders naming Santamaria, and he was busted for violating at least one of them -- hence the photo scene here.

Here's a larger look at a Santamaria mug shot, followed by the aforementioned 7News report and our previous coverage.

Ian Santamaria.
Ian Santamaria.

Continue for our previous coverage of the fatal shooting near I-225 and Tamarac.  

A photo from the scene tweeted by CBS4's Rahel Solomon. Additional images and more below.
A photo from the scene tweeted by CBS4's Rahel Solomon. Additional images and more below.

Original post, 5:30 a.m. November 10: If you see (or are slowed by) law-enforcement activity near the Tamarac exit on Interstate 225 this morning, don't be surprised. Late last night, Arapahoe County deputies shot and killed a man in that vicinity after he reportedly passed by colleagues too closely during an unrelated traffic stop. Continue for the unusual details and more.

Here's an interactive graphic showing the location. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

According to 7News, the incident took place around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday. Two deputies had pulled over a vehicle not far from I-225 and Bellevue when the driver in question reportedly "passed close" to them "without yielding."

At that point, a call went out on car number two, and another pair of deputies stopped it at Tamarac. After running a check on the ride's info, the deputies approached -- and before long, they exchanged shots with the driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene. A deputy is also said to have been injured but not shot.

Here's one of the first images from the scene, courtesy of 7News' Pete Burd....

...who followed up with this shot, taken through a television camera....

...and its sequel:

Also on hand was CBS4's Rahel Solomon, who offered this tweet from moments ago....

...and this one:

By the way, 9News points out that investigating agencies include police departments from Denver, Aurora and Greenwood Village, in addition to the ACSO.

Thus far, the driver has not been identified, and neither have details emerged about what the deputies learned from the vehicle check to prompt the gunfire.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.


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