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Westminster shooting shutters Stuart Street

Auto theft task force officers involved


A shooting at 112th and Stuart Street in Westminster Tuesday afternoon shut down the neighborhood and put nearby Cotton Creek Elementary School on a lockdown.

One man was killed in the shooting. His name has not been released but he should be identified by the Adams County coroner, according to Westminster Police.

Trooper Josh Lewis, information officer for the Colorado State Patrol, said officers from a metropolitan auto theft task force had tracked a suspect involved in an investigation to the Stuart Street park. When they approached the car to talk with him, the man brandished a weapon.

Police fired, killing the man, Lewis said.

Lewis said the task force involves officers from the state patrol and Wheat Ridge and Lakewood police departments. Lewis said four officers were involved in the shooting — two state troopers and one officer each from the other two departments.

Wheat Ridge Police Chief Dan Brennan issued a statement yesterday, stating that the task force had stopped the vehicle believing it to have been stolen.

"The suspect refused to obey the officer’s directions to him, pulling out a gun and pointing it at the officers," reads the statement. Brennan also writes that the Wheat Ridge detective who was involved, will be placed on paid administrative leave while a use of force investigation is carried out, which is standard proceedure. 

Lewis said Westminster Police is taking the lead on the investigation. Cheri Spotke, public information officer for the department, said a written statement would be released Tuesday afternoon.

Neighbor Maura Schneider said she heard gunshots just before 1 p.m. Tuesday. She works out of her home, just a block away from the shooting.

"My dog and I walked down here just about 11:30 a.m., and it was all fine," she said.

Schneider said she assumed the noises were just fireworks.

"I heard it, it was loud but I didn't know what it was," she said. "I noticed it because my dog hates loud noises and she came over to me, shivering."

Nearby Cotton Creek Elementary School was placed on immediate lockdown. Parents were allowed to begin collecting their children at 2:30 p.m. by showing picture identification at the school's front entrance.


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