Blas Leroux police-shooting decision letter: "Today, I am going to die"

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On the morning of January 17, the document maintains, Leroux entered the 7-Eleven, located at 1490 Perry Street. He spent several minutes inside the store before approaching the manager and saying, "Give me your keys."

Naturally, she turned down Leroux's request. His reported response? ""I don't want to scare you, but I have a gun."

At that point, the manager warned a co-worker to stay away from Leroux, then hit an emergency button behind the counter to summon police. The other worker also dialed 911.

Meanwhile, Karen Kahmeyer, described as a pastry vendor, entered the store. The manager warned her about Leroux, too, confiding, "I'm really scared, because that guy says he has a gun."

Moments later, a Denver police officer entered, prompting Leroux to go after Kahmeyer. He's said to have chased her, grabbed the back of her jacket and held her with his left hand while his right hand was in his sweatshirt pocket, simulating a handgun.

When Kahmeyer struggled to escape, Leroux is quoted as telling her, "That's the gun in your back, so you better stop. You better stop or I will shoot."

The cop called for backup. Meanwhile, according to the letter's narrative, Leroux allegedly headed back to the manager's office with Kahmeyer still under his control and said, "Open up or I'll shoot her." Kahmeyer also remembered him saying, "Today, I am going to die" not just once, but on several occasions over the course of the crisis.

Finally, after around fifty minutes had passed, and with a slew of police surrounding the business, Leroux took Kahmeyer's keys and tried to guide her outside to the van she'd driven to the store, using her as a shield during the process.

Once they'd left the store, police ordered Leroux to put his hands up and release his hostage -- and while he didn't comply, Kahmeyer struggled to free herself, and managed to open up some distance between them.

At that point, the report notes, an officer armed with a M4 .223 caliber rifle squeezed off one round. The bullet struck Leroux in the neck, taking him to the ground and allowing Kahmeyer to run to safety.

Why did Leroux take the actions he did? As we've previously reported, he had a long rap sheet, and had only been released from confinement a few short months earlier. During the standoff, he called a number of people, including his mom and stepfather, to stress that he wouldn't go back to prison.

One more thing: A post-mortem toxicology report on Leroux revealed that he had meth in his system.

Continue for more about the justifiable shooting ruling in the death of Blas Leroux, including photos, video and the decision letter.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts