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Officer-Involved Shooting No. 16: Cries, Evacs, Gun-Down in Lincoln Park

A photo from the scene of the shooting tweeted by Denver7's Daryl Orr.
A photo from the scene of the shooting tweeted by Denver7's Daryl Orr.
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Overnight, Denver police officers shot and killed a man on the fourth floor of a Lincoln Park-area apartment complex located near the intersection of West 12th Avenue and Galapago Street.

The incident marked the fourth officer-involved shooting to take place within Denver city limits in less than a month, and the third involving members of the Denver Police Department.

The first DPD tweet about the situation was issued at 12:15 a.m. on Tuesday, February 26. It reads in part: "#Breaking #DPD Officers are on-scene @ 12th & Galapago St. in regard to a reported Officer Involved Shooting. Information will be provided as available."

Just over an hour later, Division Chief Ron Saunier appeared on camera to provide preliminary information about what went down, as seen below.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on February 25, Saunier revealed, DPD officers had received a call on a report of a disturbance within a residence.

The center of the drama was an apartment unit on the fourth floor of a large apartment complex at 1170 Galapago Street known as Marquis on the Parkway.

According to Saunier, the 911 call was placed by a neighbor, who said that a party inside a nearby apartment could be heard threatening to shoot an individual. The caller also heard crying.

Officers quickly set up a perimeter in the hallway, using what Saunier described as "some safety equipment we brought in to afford the officers more cover. But as anyone knows, going down a hallway, there's not a lot of cover."

With that in mind, a number of people in the building were evacuated.

Contact was established with the man in question, he continued. That slowed down the progress of events, with almost an hour going by before the man emerged from the apartment.

"At one point in time, I do know he was on the phone," Saunier said of the suspect. But eventually, the man "put the phone down and ended up coming out."

The 1170 Galapago complex as seen in a Google Maps screen capture.
The 1170 Galapago complex as seen in a Google Maps screen capture.
Google Maps

He allegedly held what appeared to be a black handgun.

It's unclear at this point if the man pulled the firearm's trigger, but Saunier said that "multiple officers wound up perceiving a threat and firing their weapons."

While no officers were hurt, the man died after he was transported to a local hospital. He was subsequently identified by the Denver coroner's office as David Litton, forty.

Saunier confirmed that, per standard procedure, members of the Aurora Police Department and the Denver District Attorney's Office would take part in an inquiry into the shooting under the Office of the Independent Monitor's oversight.

On January 21, we chronicled ten officer-involved shootings in Colorado since the start of 2019; this incident brings the number to sixteen. The twelfth, a fiery standoff with Denver police officers at Sixth and Inca, not far from the current incident, ended when suspect Joseph Quintana took his own life. The thirteenth to take place within Denver city limits involved a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy on a federal task force, who shot and killed Robert Martinez and severely injured Sandra Pacheco. And number fifteen happened on the 13900 block of East Randolph Place and resulted in the wounding of Juan Sanchez Jimenez, 26, who allegedly announced that he was torn between shooting a cop or his wife.

This post has been updated to include the name of the man shot and killed by Denver police.

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