Denver police officers shot and killed a man last week in Northeast Park Hill who approached them with a handgun after he shot at people at a nearby park, police said Tuesday.
Denver Police Lt. Matt Clark identified the man who was killed as Colton Wagner, 31. He said Wagner was shot by three Denver police patrol officers who responded to six different 911 calls on June 4 about a man shooting a gun near the 3800 block of Olive Street.
Clark said officers were dispatched at about 5:30 p.m. to the area near Martin Luther King Jr. Park. When cops arrived about five minutes later, Clark said they found Wagner near a gray Jeep, which witnesses had mentioned in 911 calls. Wagner was leaning against the Jeep, the cops couldn’t see him when they arrived at the scene. Clark said the cops told Wagner to show his hands, and when he came into full view the officers saw Wagner had a gun.
Wagner briefly put the gun against the side of his head before lowering the gun, approaching the cops and raising the gun toward them, Clark said. Clark said the cops opened fire. Two officers used handguns, while a third officer shot a rifle, Clark said, with 14 total rounds fired by police. All three have been placed on modified duty following the shooting. Clark said none of the officers have been involved in a shooting before.
Wagner died at Denver Health from his injuries later that night. Clark said there is no evidence to suggest he shot his gun at cops. A .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun was recovered at the scene. Clark said detectives also found 24 shell casings for this handgun in the area and additional ammunition was found inside his car.
Clark said Wagner shot toward three people at the park, but none appeared to be targeted by Wagner and were shot at because they were in the area. No one was injured.
The incident marked the fifth officer shooting in less than a month, and the fourth time in the last four weeks Denver police officers shot and killed someone. All four fatal shootings involved a person who was armed with either a gun or a knife, according to police. A shooting on May 8 injured one Denver police officer.