Videos: Denver police gun down knife-wielding man who asked, "Do you want to die?"
At this writing, we don't know the identity of a man gunned down by police near 29th and Downing yesterday.
But we have lots of information about what witnesses describe as dangerously unstable behavior and wild threats made considerably more frightening by the presence of a knife.
Denver police say they tried to subdue the man without killing him, but things didn't go down that way. Photos, videos and details below.
The Denver Police Department first alerted the populace to the situation via the following tweet, sent out at midday yesterday:
BREAKING: DPD PIO is responding to report of officer involved shooting at 29th & Downing. Stay here for updates.— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) August 13, 2013
The DPD subsequently shared the following photo from the scene....
...and a follow-up note about the man's fate:
UPDATE: Suspect in the shooting at 29th & Downing was pronounced dead at the hospital at 11:29 a.m.— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) August 13, 2013
What preceded this pronouncement? "As I'm crossing the street, an older gentleman runs at me with a knife in his hand saying, 'Do you want to die? I'm going to kill you,'" witness Santiago Martinez told 7News. "I'm backing up going, 'Whoa.'"
At that point, Martinez continued, "Another guy in a Jeep sees that and he gets out of his car and then the guy goes after him" -- and then he did likewise with a woman crossing the street.
Martinez and the man from the Jeep reportedly responded by running after the man, who then pointed his knife at them and started "saying a bunch of weird remarks and just yelling and stuff," Martinez added.
Police summoned by multiple 911 calls arrived shortly thereafter and ordered the man to put down the knife, but he didn't comply -- in a big way. Martinez says he actually ran at one of the officers with the knife thrust out.
Denver Police Chief Robert White speaking to the media after the shooting.
Denver Police Chief Robert White told the media at a subsequent news conference from the scene that officers attempted to subdue the man using non-lethal force, including a "gas gun," a "pepper gun" and a Taser. None of these weapons had an effect on him, however -- so he was shot. He was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition, but soon perished.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.