Law Enforcement

Colorado Police Shootings So Far in 2022 — Including One This Weekend

The scene of the April 16 police shooting in Lafayette.
The scene of the April 16 police shooting in Lafayette. Courtesy of CBS4 Denver
The shooting of a suspect in a domestic-violence incident by a member of the Lafayette Police Department late on Saturday, April 16, was the seventeenth shooting involving a Colorado law enforcement officer so far this year. That's just one off the pace for police shootings in 2021 — and the eight fatalities so far in 2022 matches the total for the same period last year.

This rate suggests that the decline in Colorado police shootings in 2020, following protests over the murder of Minneapolis's George Floyd that May, was an anomaly rather than a trend. In 2020, Colorado's 2020 police shootings totaled 51, down substantially from 68 in 2019. But the numbers went up again in 2021, during which another 68 shootings took place, and 2022 appears to be on a very similar track.

The map of Colorado police shootings maintained by Denver7 does not yet include this weekend's incident, which took place at approximately 10:59 p.m. April 16 on the 700 block of South Lafayette Drive. There, four Lafayette Police officers — two in uniform, the other pair in plainclothes — encountered a 41-year-old-man wanted for domestic violence, menacing, third-degree assault, harassment and violation of a protection order.

According to an LPD account, the suspect responded to contact by the officers by running away; he's reported to have displayed a knife and "made statements he had a gun." Shortly thereafter, he was shot in the leg by one of the officers, after which he was transported to a nearby hospital.

Of the seventeen incidents so far this year, eight resulted in fatalities, as did eight of the eighteen police shootings in Colorado between January 1 to April 17, 2021. Only one of the 2022 shootings was in Denver proper, but most occurred along the urban corridor, including two each in Aurora and Arvada, plus one apiece in Arapahoe and Jefferson counties.

Here are the dates and locations of the 2022 police shootings in Colorado through yesterday, April 17.

Jan. 6, 2022 — Wheat Ridge (fatality)
Jan. 10, 2022 — Larimer County (injury)
Jan. 12, 2022 — Arvada (fatality)
Jan. 13, 2022 — Longmont (injury)
Jan 20, 2022 — Colorado Springs (injury)
Jan. 26, 2022 — Arvada (injury)
Feb. 3, 2022 — Grand Junction (injury)
Feb. 9, 2022 — Aurora (fatality)
Feb. 11, 2022 — Aurora (fatality)
Feb. 22, 2022 — Pueblo West (fatality)
March 2, 2022 — Denver (injury)
March 3, 2022 — Arapahoe County (fatality)
March 7, 2022 — Colorado Springs (fatality)
April 7, 2022 — Jefferson County (no injuries)
April 11, 2022 — Manitou Springs (fatality)
April 14, 2022 — Larimer County (injury)
April 16, 2022 — Lafayette (injury)
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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