The Northglenn Police Department is currently in the midst of investigating an incident yesterday during which a knife-wielding burglar was hit by multiple bullets after allegedly attempting to break into a foolhardy target -- the home of a Wheat Ridge police detective.
If this sort of story rings a bell for you, it should. The shooting was at least the fourth of late to involve a police officer. Photos, video and details below.
Let's start with the most recent gun-down. At about 12:45 p.m. on Monday (yes, it was broad daylight), Northglenn cops were called to a home on the 11400 block of Fowler Drive. As noted earlier, it belongs to a Wheat Ridge detective, but he wasn't home at the time. However, his wife and two young kids were present and accounted for.
Upon their arrival, officers say they were confronted by a man with a knife who was reportedly trying to break into the home via the back door.
At that point, they ordered the man to drop the knife. Instead, officers say he advanced toward them, still holding the weapon, prompting one of the cops on the scene to open fire, striking him with two shots or more.
At that point, the man was transported to Denver Health. In an update released last night, the NPD noted that "we do not have any additional information regarding the suspect's condition and we are not prepared to release the suspect's name pending further investigation." Neither is the officer who pulled the trigger being identified.
Other recent police shootings? On July 5 in Morrison, Jefferson County deputies were called to a home at 12574 West Grand Drive to investigate what the First Judicial District DA's office describes as a domestic violence incident involving the homeowner, R. Kirksen (Kirk) Barnhardt, who is said to have assaulted his estranged wife in front of the house, then headed back inside.
When Barnhardt refused to come out (and after deputies saw him in possession of a weapon), the SWAT team was called and negotiations began -- and went on for around three hours. Then, Barnhardit allegedly fired a shot through a glass window at the SWAT squad, prompting officers to return fire. They struck the gunman, who had to be hospitalized as a result of his wounds.
On Friday, First Judicial District DA Peter Weir absolved of any wrongdoing the SWAT teamers in question, Officers Ian Hettrick and Michael Gutke.
Another officer-involved shooting took place on August 13 in Denver.
Continue for more about recent police shootings, including more photos and videos. Near midday on the 13th, as we reported, a man described as dangerously unstable and armed with a knife reportedly approached another person near the intersection of 29th and Downing and asked, "Do you want to die? I'm going to kill you."
Police summoned by multiple 911 calls arrived shortly thereafter and ordered the man to put down the knife, but he didn't comply -- in a big way. A witness says he actually ran at one of the officers with the knife thrust out.
Denver Police Chief Robert White told the media at a subsequent news conference from the scene that officers attempted to subdue the man using non-lethal force, including a "gas gun," a "pepper gun" and a Taser. None of these weapons had an effect on him, however -- so he was shot. He was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition, but soon perished.
Here's a video of Chief White talking about what happened:
As for incident number four, it took place at approximately 7:29 p.m. on Friday, August 30. Officer Matt Barnes of the Thornton Police Department notes that officers were sent to 2642 E. 98th Place in regard to a man who a caller said was threatening people with a bat.
TPD reps found the man in the front yard of the residence -- and he also had a knife on him. Officers say they told him on numerous occasions to drop the weapons, but he declined to do so and charged in their direction. One cop on the scene fired a Taser, but it was "ineffective and unsuccessful at stopping the suspect," Barnes allows -- so a second officer fired his gun. The suspect was hit and later died at a local hospital.
Why so many law-enforcement shootings of late? We don't have any answers yet -- just questions.
Here's a 7News report about yesterday's incident in Northglenn.
More from our News archive: "Videos: Denver police gun down knife-wielding man who asked, 'Do you want to die?'"
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.