One Suspect Pellet-Gunned, Another Tased After Police Chase Near Auraria

The controversy over the police shooting of Jessie Hernandez, a seventeen-year-old who was killed while behind the wheel of a stolen car, prompted Denver's Independent Monitor to question a Denver Police Department policy allowing officers to shoot into moving vehicles.

While a review of that policy is underway, the old rules remain in place at this writing.

However, an incident during the early hours of Monday suggest that the DPD is already modifying its approach.

Specifically, two men who led the cops on a brief chase after allegedly trespassing on the Auraria campus were brought down by law enforcers using what's being described as less-than-lethal force.

One man was shot by a foam pellet gun. The other was tased.

Thus far, the DPD hasn't tweeted anything about the incident, which ended near the intersection of 8th Avenue and Wyandot. The area is captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."

According to 7News, officers were dispatched shortly before 3:45 a.m.

The two suspects were reportedly trespassing on the Auraria campus in the white Chevrolet Cavalier seen in the image at the top of this post.

When a campus police officer confronted them, they allegedly hopped into the vehicle and took off, nearly running over the guard in the process.

Next, Denver police officers tried pulling over the Cavalier at the intersection of 8th and Decatur.

They were unsuccessful.

At that point, a brief pursuit took place. It ended at 8th and Wyandot, after the Cavalier lost control and crashed.

Here's another look at the scene, via a tweet from 9News reporter Colleen Ferreira:

Following the impact, the two occupants of the Chevy bolted, cops say — and the passenger allegedly yelled that he had a gun in his pocket and was seen reaching toward his pocket.

That's when cops fired, but not with the most powerful weapon at their disposal.

Instead, the driver was hit with bullet from a foam-pellet gun.

The impact subdued him.

Cops say the driver tried to rabbit as well.

On him, they used the Taser.

At this writing, both men are in custody — and they're both still alive.

Expect to see continuing police activity in the area throughout the morning, as the scene is processed. Look below to see a 7News on what went down.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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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

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