Denver, CO - Wanted 21 Year Old Man Jumps Out Of Window - Tries To Steal Patrol Car - Wrestles With 3 Officers - Tries To Steal Officer's Gun - Shot And Killed

September 1, 2016

denverpost.com

The Denver medical examiner has identified the 21-year-old killed Wednesday by Denver police as Michael Ferguson.

Ferguson was shot to death as he fought with three police officers, who were trying to arrest him on a felony warrant. He had tried to grab one officer’s gun from his holster during the struggle, police said.

Ferguson also had tried to escape officers in a stolen car and then by trying to steal a police car.

During the struggle over the officer’s weapon, the gun discharged, said Cmdr. Barb Archer of the Denver Police Department’s major crimes unit. It is unclear who pulled the trigger.

After that shot, an 11-year veteran involved in the fight shot the suspect, Archer said.

Denver police held a news conference Thursday morning to discuss the shooting but declined to release the name of the officer who fired the shot, the names of the three officers who were injured in the fight and the nature of their injuries.

Police had been called Wednesday morning to a house in the 2600 block of West Bates Avenue because a 21-year-old man who was wanted on warrants was there. A caller told police that the suspect also had a stolen car in the driveway, Archer said.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation criminal records show Ferguson was wanted on a failure to appear warrant from the Denver Police Department. Ferguson has a prior conviction for misdemeanor theft and for parole violations from the state’s Division of Youth Corrections, records show.

Police did not elaborate on the the crimes Ferguson most recently was wanted on.

The officers who responded were allowed into the house, and the suspect jumped out of a bedroom window and fled. Other officers were positioned outside the house in anticipation that he might flee, Archer said.

The suspect jumped into the stolen car, but it was blocked by police cars. He then tried to drive away in a police car, Archer said.

The suspect became more aggressive and tried to grab a gun from one officer’s holster, Archer said.

“Our witnesses and our evidence suggest that gun was discharged in the struggle,” Archer said.

That’s when the 11-year veteran killed the suspect. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, pending investigation by the Denver District Attorney and the Aurora Police Department.

All officers involved are assigned to District 4. They sustained minor injuries in the scuffle. Two were taken to the hospital, but they were not kept overnight.

Wednesday’s police shooting was the second in five days. In both cases, Denver police were called to a home because a wanted person was there.

On Saturday, 49-year-old Terry Salazar was killed after he trapped a woman in an attic while armed with a knife and then threatened police who were trying to apprehend him, according to previous police reports.

The officer in that shooting also has been placed on administrative leave, pending investigation.