Woman dies after shootout with Denver police in West Colfax

Police did not specify how many rounds she or the officers fired.
3 min. read
West Colfax Avenue at Perry Street, Aug. 16, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A woman has died from gunshot wounds after she exchanged fire with two officers outside a 7-Eleven near Colfax Avenue and Perry Street on Thursday night, the department said Friday.

During a brief press conference Friday providing preliminary information, Lt. Matt Clark said the woman was transported to Denver Health Medical Center and pronounced dead. The woman has not been identified.

The incident took place at about 11:40 p.m. outside a 7-Eleven. Clark said officers arrived at the scene to investigate a car parked on the north side of the building. Clark said the contact was initiated by the officers and was not due to a call for service by a concerned citizen.

As officers investigated the car, Clark said, the officers interacted with a man "associated with the vehicle." During this interaction, Clark said, a woman got out of the car and started walking away before pulling out a gun and shooting in the direction of the officers. Clark did not specify how many rounds the woman allegedly fired. Officers recovered a handgun from the scene near the woman, Clark said. He added evidence suggested the woman fired more than one round and was firing in the officer's direction.

The two uniformed officers returned fire, shooting multiple rounds and striking the woman, Clark said. He declined to specify the number of rounds the officers fired, citing ongoing interviews. Officers immediately called for an ambulance and secured the scene after the shooting.

Both officers were wearing body cameras. Clark said there is footage of the shooting that shows the entire interaction.

Clark said the two officers involved were not injured in the exchange. They are uniformed patrol officers assigned to northwest Denver's District 1. Clark said one officer is a corporal who has been with the department for four years and has no prior officer-involved shootings in Denver, while the other office has been with the department for six years and has no prior officer-involved shootings. Both officers have been put in modified duty, per department protocol.

The man initially contacted by the officers, identified as Justin Lucero, 31, was unharmed. Clark said Lucero had an active arrest warrant related to a DUI charge and was processed for new charges for possession of a controlled substance.

Aurora Police are assisting Denver police in the investigation. The Denver's District Attorney's Office is also involved.

Last month, Denver police officers shot three people, two of whom died. Colorado Public Radio reports police in Colorado have been involved in 40 shootings this year, 23 of them fatal.

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