Hector Esparza identified as man who died in officer-involved shooting at 4503 Fillmore Street

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Early this morning, Denver Police officers responded to a disturbance call at 4503 Fillmore Street, an area captured in the graphic above (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"). According to the DPD, the man, who's just been identified by the Denver Coroner's Office as Hector Esparza, 25, charged police, who responded by opening fire. Esparza died of his wounds shortly thereafter.

Read the DPD and DCO releases after the jump.

Denver Police Department release:

On July 2, 2009 at approximately 1:22 a.m. Denver Police responded to 4503 Fillmore Street on report of a disturbance. When Officers arrived on scene they found one male victim who appeared to have been assaulted. Officers attempted to contact the suspect in another part of the residence. The suspect charged at the officers holding what appeared to be a handgun. The officers fired at the suspect striking him multiple times. The suspect was transported to Denver Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Through the investigation it was determined the suspect had armed himself with a replica handgun. During the investigation it was learned the suspect had stated earlier in the evening he was going to get in a shootout with police. The name of the suspect is pending positive identification and notification of family.

This matter as in all officer involved shootings will be investigated by the Denver Police Department and the Denver District Attorney's Office. The Independent Monitor Richard Rosenthal is actively monitoring the investigation.

Denver Coroner's Office release:

On July 2, 2009 the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner received notification of a death at the Denver Health Medical Center.

Mr. Hector Esparza, age 25 (DOB: 7/6/83) of Denver Colorado was pronounced dead at 2:54 A.M., 7/2/2009 after being transported from 4503 Fillmore Street in Denver Colorado.

This office will complete an autopsy on Mr. Esparza today.

Questions regarding the investigation should be directed to the Denver Police Department.

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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