A Brief Look at Notable Police Shootings

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Roberto Gonzales, May 6, 2006 In 2006, during the unofficial Cinco De Mayo procession on Federal Boulevard, officers spotted a stolen Jeep Cherokee. Several police cars began to pursue the vehicle, which had turned eastbound on West 10th Avenue at a high rate of speed toward the Sun Valley Neighborhood. The Jeep stopped at Clay Way and was quickly surrounded by law enforcement vehicles. One of the Jeep's three occupants, later identifed as 34-year-old Roberto Gonzales, jumped out and walked toward an acquaintance on the street. Gonzales attempted to get the acquaintance to take possession of a handgun he was holding in his left hand. But the aquaintace refused as police fanned out around Gonzales with their weapons drawn. Officers repeatedly ordered Gonzales to drop the weapon. Gonzales instead moved toward Sergeant Rick Stern and was shot numerous times by three officers, and died. The gun was later determined to be a very real-looking replica, pictured here.

Since 1996, Denver Police have shot 86 people, forty of whom died. The majority of these involved situations where the individual was clearly pointing a gun at officers, putting their lives at risk. But there have been some deadly-force scenarios where the situation hasn't been as clear. Here's a sampling of some of the more sketchy shoot-out situations that have played out in the metro area over the last decade. -- Jared Jacang Maher

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