Boulder police shoot and kill woman near the North Boulder Rec Center; McClain paramedics trial continues

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Boulder Police shooting

Boulder police shot and killed a woman near the North Boulder Recreation Center on Sunday afternoon.

At a news conference yesterday, Deputy Chief Ron Gosage said two officers were involved in the shooting, and that the woman was by herself.

The incident began shortly after 4 o’clock Sunday afternoon, when police got a 911 call from a driver who said he had been approached by a woman with a gun. Police arrived a few minutes later and found the woman near the rec center. Deputy Chief Gosage said the woman did not comply with verbal commands from the officers, fleeing the scene  on foot instead.

Officers caught up with the woman, and according to police she took what officers say appeared to be a firearm out of her purse.

According to Gosage, the  officers first tried to de-escalate the situation. When that failed they shot her. 

The officers administered emergency care until Boulder Fire Rescue arrived. But the woman, who police have not yet identified, died about forty minutes later.

At a press conference yesterday, police said the woman did not have a real handgun, but instead held a realistic replica. Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty outlined some of the key legal issues involved.

“It’s a replica firearm that does not act as an actual firearm,” said Dougherty. So, of course, under the law, as you may know, when that happens in cases, we’re required to analyze what the officers knew at the time, and whether their belief and observations were reasonable or not. Uh, the Colorado courts over the years have found that we have to look back at what the officers knew, what they believed, and whether their beliefs and observations were reasonable or not, and that’ll be a focus of the investigation going forward.”

Boulder police spokesperson Dionne Waugh, speaking at the same press conference, urged any witnesses to contact the department.

“As we’re asking for the public’s help, because it was a very public area, we know a lot of people saw, I think parts of it,” said Waugh. “And so what we’re really asking is for the community, thinks they saw any aspect of this, to submit the information to, um, the police department so that we can run down all aspects of this investigation.”

The police department has not identified the officers involved in the shooting but say they are on administrative leave. 

McClain Paramedics Trial

The two Aurora paramedics on trial for the 2019 death of Elijah McClain took the stand in their own defense yesterday.

Peter Cichnuiec and Jeremy Cooper both testified that they did everything possible to save McClain, who had first been subdued by three Aurora police officers.

Both paramedics said they followed their training and protocols during their encounter with the 23-year-old McClain when they  injected him with the sedative ketamine. McClain lost consciousness and died several days later. Medical experts have testified that he was given too high a dose for someone his size.

Cichnuiec and Cooper are both charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and assault.

Denver Homeless Sweeps

The Denver City Council last night approved the purchase of two more former hotels, to be used as shelters for the city’s homeless population.

At the same time, as many as seven homeless encampment sweeps are expected in Denver this week. The sweeps are part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s plan to get a thousand unhoused people into shelters by the end of this year

The Denver Gazette says the new round of sweeps begin today, and that Denver officials have notified people in the camps. Officials did not say, however, which encampments will be shut down.

The mayor has pledged to get a thousand unhoused people off the streets by December 31st. According to the city’s homeless housing dashboard, the mayor’s housing commission has housed 600 people as of yesterday. 

Officials say the onset of winter is the main reason for these latest sweeps. In spite of the recent warm daytime weather, temperatures have been dropping into the twenties overnight.

Denver houses 75 migrant families

The Denver City Council, meanwhile, has also approved an agreement to use a former assisted living facility for migrant housing. The lease agreement with the Archdiocese of Denver, approved yesterday, will make 75 units available, according to Denverite.

Wolf Reintroduction

Gray wolves are back on Colorado’s western slope, after a federal judge removed the last obstacle to their reintroduction.

The first five gray wolves were released into the wilds in Grand County late yesterday afternoon. The three males and two females had been captured in Oregon and brought to Colorado for re-introduction.

On Friday a federal judge denied a last-minute request by Colorado livestock producers to halt the reintroduction. He ruled their arguments weren’t supported by scientific evidence and were contrary to the will of the voters, who approved a ballot measure mandating wolf reintroduction three years ago.

Gray wolves are native to Colorado and other Rocky Mountain states but were hunted to near-extinction by the mid-20th century.

The Denver Gazette reported that the wolves introduced yesterday received vaccines in Oregon. Before their release, they were weighed and measured. Wildlife officials also collected genetic material, such as tissue and blood samples, and fitted each animal with a GPS satellite collar.

Aurora Fire

The intersection of Colfax Avenue and Peoria Street in Denver is expected to remain closed during an investigation into a five-alarm construction fire that started over the weekend.

Officials say while there is no timeline on how long the intersection will be closed, it could be for days.

The fire began on Saturday and continued burning into Monday. A part of the building directly facing the intersection collapsed late yesterday morning.

Firefighters from Aurora and five other departments were called to the fire.

This was the second construction fire in Aurora in a week, according to the Denver Post, although officials have declined to say whether the two appear to be related.

Jackie Sedley

Jackie Sedley

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