Accident – Death – Obituary News : Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas provided new details about an incident in late November where an armed man was shot and injured by police officers. According to Chief Thomas, the officers had attempted to de-escalate the situation for several minutes before the shooting occurred.
The incident took place on November 27 in the parking lot of an apartment complex on S. Oneida Street. Officers were initially drawn to the man because of loud music coming from his truck. They also observed him throwing items from the truck into a nearby dumpster.
During a press briefing on Thursday, the Denver Police Department released body-worn camera footage from two of the responding officers. The footage showed that the officers had a conversation with the man for over 4 minutes before he made a sudden movement behind his back. Two officers then fired their weapons, fearing that the man was reaching for a firearm.
After the shooting, officers rendered aid to the injured man and recovered a loaded Glock 17 – 9mm handgun from the scene. The man, identified as 32-year-old Zachary Yates, was treated for two gunshot wounds and later charged with unlawful carrying of a firearm and possessing a high-capacity magazine.
Chief Thomas explained that the officers’ attention was initially drawn to the man for reasons other than the firearm. However, when they saw the weapon openly displayed, they decided to make safe contact and investigate further.
The body-worn camera footage provided a detailed timeline of the officers’ actions and the man’s responses. At various points in the video, the officers can be heard ordering the man to drop the gun and place his hands on his head. The man identified himself as a veteran and made references to being suicidal.
During the interaction, the man questioned the legality of carrying a gun in his waistband and mentioned past negative experiences with law enforcement. The officers repeatedly assured him that they did not want to shoot him but were concerned about the open display of the firearm in a high-crime area.
The footage also captured the man becoming increasingly agitated and expressing frustration with the officers. At one point, he mentioned going through eight months of GPS monitoring and having to pay for it.
The incident has sparked discussions about police use of force and the handling of individuals in crisis situations. The Denver Police Department maintains that the officers acted appropriately given the circumstances and the perceived threat.
The body-worn camera footage has been released to the public to provide transparency and allow for a thorough examination of the events leading up to the shooting. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and further details may be revealed as more evidence is analyzed..