Update: Earlier this week, we noted that the Aurora Police Department had released an unusual amount of material intended to show that the fatal police shooting of a man, subsequently identified as 25-year-old Tuan Hoang, was justified — including an exceeding graphic photo of an officer with a four-inch gash in his head.
See our previous coverage below, including both censored and uncensored versions of the aforementioned wound pic.
Now, the APD has gone even further, sharing images of the weapon said to have done the damage: a meat cleaver whose handle apparently broke off owing to the force of the blow.
Hoang, whose Facebook page says he attended Rangeview High School and Pickens Technical College....
...had a police record, but most of the offenses on it were fairly minor.
According to the Aurora Sentinel, they included trespassing, marijuana consumption and driving under the influence. Moreover, his last interaction with the law was in 2010.
Nonetheless, police say he reacted violently when an Aurora police officer stopped on Interstate 225 early on Monday, November 30, to check on a disabled vehicle occupied by Hoang and a second man, Garrett Lee Hubbard.
When Hoang attacked the officer and stole his police car, Hubbard stayed in the other ride. He was initially arrested but later freed.
As for the weapon Hoang used, the APD Facebooked the photo at the top of this post, as well as this lengthwise shot of the handle....
...plus a view from the top....
...and a pic showing where it attached to the blade prior to snapping:
These photos certainly underscore the violence of the attack on the officer — but the fatal shooting of Hoang took place at another location, near East Alameda Parkway and South Buckley Road.
Other officers were able to cause the cruiser Hoang was driving to spin out, the APD previously divulged. He was shot after emerging from the police car and allegedly refusing to follow police orders while holding an "unknown object" in his hand.
The shooting itself remains under investigation.
Continue for our previous coverage.
Original post, 5:42 a.m. December 1: In a day and age when every officer-involved shooting is carefully scrutinized, the Aurora Police Department is going to unusual measures to prove that the killing of a man early yesterday morning was justified.
The department staged a press conference, released audio related to the incident and shared an extremely explicit photo of a four-inch gash the thus-far-unnamed suspect allegedly left in the head of an officer.
Warning: The uncensored photo, on view below, may be disturbing to some readers.
At around 3:43 a.m. on Monday, November 30, according to the department, a patrol officer spotted what he thought was a minor traffic accident on the East Alameda off-ramp of Interstate 225.
Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz, speaking at a press conference on view here in its entirety, stressed that the officer simply wanted to help out a motorist in need.
"He was being a Good Samaritan," Metz noted.
The price of this attempted act of kindness was high. As the officer was returning to his police cruiser, the suspect is said to have bashed him in the head from behind using what's described as a "sharp object."
Here's the unpixilated photo of the damage done, as shared by the APD.
The officer fired one round during the attack.
However, the shot failed to stop the suspect, who hopped into the police vehicle and drove away.
Subsequent audio from the officer includes this memorable announcement: "Get out! 316: They took my car!"
In fact, only one person did the swiping. A second suspect stayed in the original vehicle and was quickly taken into custody.
Shortly thereafter, another officer eyeballed the stolen cruiser near East Alameda Drive and East Alameda Parkway. It was moving at approximately 65 miles per hour on snow-packed roads.
Pursuit began near East Alameda Parkway and South Buckley Road, and before long, one of the cops involved in the chase "was able to use his vehicle to force the stolen vehicle to spin out," an APD release states.
At that point, the suspect got out of the cruiser, but he's said to have failed to obey officers' commands while holding "an unknown object" in his hand.
The cops on hand responded by opening fire on the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
7News viewer Carlos Moralez captured footage from the second scene. Here's that clip.
Thus far, the identity of the shooter has not been publicly shared, pending next-of-kin notification.
Meanwhile, three Aurora police officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay — standard procedure following an incident like this one.
Neither this trio of law enforcers nor the cop whose braining preceded the chase are being named, either.
However, Chief Metz makes it clear that he feels his officers acted appropriately, especially in light of the wound suffered by the first cop. He calls that initial attack "attempted murder."
Look below to see a 7News report, followed by Aurora Police Department video of the press conference and the aforementioned radio transmissions, also shared by the APD.