Police: Man killed in Montbello placed his baby in a car, then shot an officer in the face

3 min. read
The scene at East 46th Avenue and Dearborn Street. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)

A man whom police were seeking to arrest in the Montbello neighborhood fired a gun at an Aurora police tactical team, nearly killing one officer, according to Denver and Aurora police. The officers then returned fire, killing the man, police said.

The scene at East 46th Avenue and Dearborn Street on Nov. 8. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)

This began on Monday night with a homicide, which did not involve police, on the 140 block of Del Mar Circle in Aurora. (We're still waiting for more details on that.) On Tuesday morning, Aurora police received information linking a suspect in that killing to a residence at 14572 E. 46th Ave. in Denver, according to Lt. Matt Clark of the Denver Police Department.

The officers had a license plate number and believed the suspect had been driving a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo. At about 11:41 a.m., the Aurora officers told the Denver Police Department that they would be seeking the suspect in Denver's jurisdiction, Clark said.

Arriving at the address, officers from the two agencies found the Monte Carlo parked outside the home. While waiting for backup, a man they believed to be the suspect emerged from the residence, carrying a baby, Clark said. He placed the baby in the car, possibly not seeing the officers, according to Clark.

At that point, an Aurora tactical squad (like a SWAT team) was approaching in an unmarked vehicle. Clark said the suspect recognized them as police officers. The man then drew a gun from around his waist and began firing multiple rounds at the officers, Clark said.

Two Aurora officers and one Denver officer then fired their weapons at the man, killing him, Clark said.

LaMont Clifton, 50, said he was a witness. He told Denverite on the scene that he had heard about 20 rounds fired. Israel Contreras, who said he lived nearby, confirmed that account.

During the confrontation, a bullet struck an Aurora officer near his cheek and lodged inside his body, according to Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz.

"I want to tell you that we came very close to losing a brother here," he said. "Had that round either taken a different kind of trajectory or a half-inch to an inch higher, I'm not sure what kind of message we’d be giving you today."

The man who was killed has not been identified. The baby was unharmed and is with a relative, police said. Police said officers were very aware of the baby in the car and kept the baby outside their line of fire.

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