| Crime |

Isaac Vigil after being wounded by cop he tried to shoot: "I have meth up my ass!"

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Update: Last week, we told you about a Denver cop shooting Isaac Vigil after the latter pulled a gun outside a police station; see our previous coverage below.

Vigil, seen in a new and highly unusual mug shot, has now been charged with attempted murder and more. Meanwhile, a police report on view below maintains that the suspect was searched not once but twice before pulling a weapon -- although he was apparently pretty good at hiding stuff, as witnessed by his statement, "I have meth up my ass!"

At 4:20 p.m. on May 14, according to the aforementioned probable cause statement, officers responded to the parking lot of a McDonalds at 300 South Eliot Street to arrest Vigil for possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also wanted on a warrant out of Adams County for assault, felony menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

Additional help was requested because of what the report characterizes as the "violent and aggressive behavior of the suspect." Vigil had allegedly been seen smoking meth and "was constantly moving, thrashing and jumping with both feet off the ground during the search of his clothing."

Among the comments he's quoted as making to the officers: "I'm gonna shoot you" and "You better have a vest on."

After Vigil was finally rounded up and supposedly searched a second time, a cop transported Vigil to the District 4 station. During the ride, Vigil is said to have been agitated, kicking the doors and windows of the cruiser and yelling, "Fuck you, I'm not going back to jail," "I've got something for you guys" and "I'm gonna kill you," with the last sentence reportedly repeated a few extra times for emphasis.

Oh yeah: Vigil revealed that he'd been smoking meth for three days straight, the PC statement notes.

At the station, the first officer and another helper tried to unload Vigil, who's quoted as informing them that "you're going to hear a pop." Then the first cop "saw a muzzle flash as the suspect fired a gun from behind his back."

As the officers took cover, Vigil allegedly got off another shot -- but it was his last one. An officer on the scene fired back, striking him in the abdomen.

At that point, the narrative says, Vigil "indicated he was done," then shared the "I have meth up my ass!" line.

He wasn't shitting, as it were. Three baggies of meth were recovered at the hospital. You can guess from where.

Once Vigil was released from the hospital, he was booked on a $1,000,000 bond. He now faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and possession of a defaced firearm, because his gat's serial number had been scratched off. He's due in court tomorrow to be formally advised of the charges against him.

Here's a full-length look at Vigil's mug shot, which seems to have been taken from a police helicopter, followed by the probable cause statement and our previous coverage.

Isaac Vigil Probable Cause Statement

Continue for our previous coverage of the Isaac Vigil shooting and arrest, including a video. Original post, 5:40 a.m. May 15: We presume that officers search suspects after placing them under arrest to make sure they don't have a concealed weapon. But if that was done in the case of 32-year-old Isaac Vigil, something was missed -- a gun he allegedly pulled on police, prompting an officer on the scene to open fire, leaving Vigil in critical condition.

The location of the incident? Outside a Denver police station.

First news of the incident came via the DPD's Twitter feed....

...which followed its initial alert with a note suggesting that misinformation was an immediate side effect:

According to DPD chief Robert White, seen in a video clip below, Vigil was picked up for a drug beef on the 300 block of South Elliot -- roughly Elliot and Alameda, as seen in this Google Maps screen capture:

Turns out Vigil was on the radar of more than just local officers -- a point made in another DPD tweet:

His record also includes busts for vehicle theft, felony menacing and (most notable in this context) assault on a police officer, 7News reveals.

Less clear at this point is what happened when cops began unloading Vigil at the District 4 station.

As he got out, Vigil's hands were cuffed behind his back, the cops say. But as was the case in October 2013, when handcuffed sex offender Eugene Martinez managed to escape from Denver police headquarters, his bonds didn't prevent him from action.

Upon his arrival at the station, Vigil reportedly began to "wiggle around" and came out with a gun, which he somehow managed to fire, apparently in the direction of officers.

In response, one of the cops shot back, striking Vigil. The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was deemed to be in critical condition -- although Chief White told reporters that he's expected to survive.

The officer who plugged Vigil has been put on leave, as is standard procedure in such shootings. If the account offered thus far is on the mark, he'll likely face no censure for his trigger-pulling, which would seem to have been in self-defense. But that still doesn't explain how Vigil managed to be transported all the way from 300 South Elliot to the station, at 2100 South Clay, while still in possession of a gat.

Here's a larger look at a Vigil mug shot from 2007 and a DPD video of Chief White talking about the incident.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa October 2013: "Eugene Martinez: Escaped sex offender caught after allegedly committing new crimes."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.