Denver officers, Adams County sheriff deputies justified in shooting and killing man who held woman hostage in Denver backyard, DA says
Two Denver police officers and three Adams County deputies were justified in shooting and killing a 33-year-old man in September who allegedly fired at officers during a high-speed car chase before holding a woman hostage at gunpoint, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in a news release.
“The officers in this situation were confronted with a very dangerous and escalating situation,” McCann said in the release, which included her decision not to charge the officers. “Mr. (Christopher) Escobedo was ignoring their commands and threatening to kill his female hostage as he emerged from bushes holding a loaded gun to her head.”
Around 4 a.m. on Sept. 12, Adams County deputies attempted to stop Escobedo on suspicion of driving a stolen car, when he sped away and fired his gun at perusing officers, McCann wrote in the decision letter.
After a lengthy chase, Escobedo struck a parked car near 1540 Meade St. in Denver, and then took a female passenger into a backyard, authorities said.
Photos taken from an officer’s body-camera show Escobedo holding the woman near a fence, a gun pointed to her head. Officers repeatedly told him to drop his gun, McCann wrote.
“I’ll (expletive) kill this (expletive) and then I’ll pop myself,” Escobedo said, according to an interview Adams County Sheriff Deputy Marcus Knight gave to investigators.
Two Adams County deputies “became concerned that the situation was deteriorating and that the female hostage and the officers were in imminent danger and that they had no choice but to end the situation by firing at the suspect,” the district attorney said.
McCann ruled that “all other means of apprehension were unreasonable given the circumstances.”
The woman, who has not been identified, was unharmed.
McCann will hold a virtual community meeting Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to discuss her decision in this case, as well as the police shooting of Antonio Blackbear. Members of the public are invited to attend virtually via this link: https://bit.ly/35CwOIt.