Denver Police Shooting Update: "I Don't Know If I'm Going to Kill You or Him"

Denver police personnel on the scene after the shooting.
Denver police personnel on the scene after the shooting. Courtesy of CBS4
The Denver Police Department has identified the man at the center of an officer-involved shooting in east Denver last night as Juan Sanchez Jimenez, 26.

No booking photo of Sanchez Jimenez has been released at this writing, likely because he was hospitalized after the shooting. However, the DPD has issued a probable-cause statement that reveals that a domestic disturbance involving him was prompted by cell-phone photos of his wife and her former husband "having an affair."

The document, accessible below, quotes Sanchez Jimenez as saying, "I don't know if I'm going to kill you," referring to his wife, "or him," meaning her ex.

The first word about what went down came by way of a DPD tweet at 9:30 p.m. on February 12. "ALERT," the message begins. "DPD is investigating an officer-involved shooting in 13900 block of E Randolph Pl. Adult male suspect was shot and transported to hospital; cond. unknown. 1 officer transported w/ injury (not gunshot wound). Circumstances under investigation. Updates provided as avail."

A short time later, Barb Archer, a deputy chief with the department, offered a few more details during a brief session with the press, as seen here:

According to Archer, officers responded to a 911 call placed by an individual inside a house on the 13900 block of East Randolph Place a little after 8 p.m.

"Call notes indicate there was a male inside with a gun who was threatening the female in the house," Archer said.

Upon their arrival, the cops encountered an armed man, at which point "the officers ended up discharging their weapon at the suspect, who was shot several times," Archer continued.

The man, whose moniker wasn't initially released, was taken to a nearby hospital and was believed to be undergoing surgery as Archer spoke. She didn't have an update on his status, but characterized his wounds as "survivable."

As for the also-unidentified female, she was said to be safe. In the meantime, an officer was also transported to a hospital with an injury. He hadn't been shot, but Archer declined to go into more detail about what had happened.

click to enlarge A photo tweeted from the scene of last night's officer-involved shooting on East Randolph Place. - @DENVERCHANNEL
A photo tweeted from the scene of last night's officer-involved shooting on East Randolph Place.
The two officers at the center of the shooting have been placed on administrative leave per department protocol, which also mandates that an investigation be conducted in conjunction with the Aurora Police Department and the Denver District Attorney's Office under the supervision of the Office of the Independent Monitor.

Additional details are provided by the probable-cause statement, including the suspect's name. After threatening to kill his wife and/or her onetime spouse, Sanchez Jimenez allegedly headed to his bedroom, retrieved a gun and began loading it. He's then said to have struck his wife in the head with the weapon before moving to a side door and standing on a landing that led to the downstairs portion of the house.

The woman told investigators that Sanchez Jimenez subsequently pointed the gun at her, and after she stepped aside, she heard a shot, leading to her decision to dial 911.

As for the injured officer, he was hospitalized "for evaluation of an inner-ear/hearing-related injury caused by the sounds from the shots fired."

Last night's officer-involved shooting was the fifteenth in Colorado to date in 2019; we chronicled the first ten officer-related shootings of the new year in a post on January 21. The twelfth, a fiery standoff at Sixth and Inca that ended when suspect Joseph Quintana took his own life, also involved Denver police officers. The thirteenth took place within Denver city limits, but involved a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy on a federal task force, who shot and killed Robert Martinez and severely injured Sandra Pacheco.

Click to read the Juan Sanchez Jimenez probable-cause statement.

This post has been updated to include the suspect's name and information from a probable-cause statement released by 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