Denver police shoot and kill man who pointed a realistic-looking BB gun at them

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DENVER, CO – The Denver Police Department on Sept. 9 responded to a report of a possible armed man near a high school in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. 

Upon police arrival, the man allegedly pointed what appeared to be a real handgun at them, causing them to fire.  They later learned that the man was armed with a realistic-looking BB gun. 

Denver Police received more than 10 calls to 911 on Sept. 9 informing them of a man pointing a gun at people in  Lincoln Park.  When police arrived on scene, they saw the man, later identified as Antonio Blackbear, whom they allege was pointing a gun at two people in a car. 

Police state that they immediately identified themselves as police and commanded him to drop the weapon.  Instead of dropping the firearm and surrendering, Blackbear turned around to face them and walked toward them with the gun still in his hand.

Police continued to give him commands until he raised the gun at the officers.  This move prompted both Denver Police officers to open fire, striking Blackbear.

Denver Police Department reports that both officers immediately rendered aid to Blackbear while calling for medical assistance.  An ambulance arrived and transported Blackbear to the Denver Health Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries the next morning.

Police report that they located a “realistic replica” of a Glock handgun at the scene and believe it to be the one carried by Blackbear.  The department alleges that neither officer realized that it was an airsoft gun and believed it to be real at the time of the shooting.

Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.  This is normal procedure and in no way implies that the officers did anything wrong.

This is not the only police-involved shooting recently reported in Denver.  On Saturday, Sept. 12, Christopher Escobedo was shot and killed following a 14-minute vehicle pursuit.

Lt. Matt Clark, of the Denver Police Department’s Major Crimes Division, reported that an Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputy had seen a vehicle Escobedo was in which did not have any visible license plates.

Adams deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, which initially pulled over to the side of the road and stopped.  As the deputy exited the patrol unit and approached Escobedo, the suspects vehicle sped off, sparking a police pursuit that ended in Denver County.

As deputies pursued Escobedo, he allegedly began firing on them from his vehicle. 

Clark said:

“Shortly after the pursuit was initiated, the driver flashed a handgun in the air with his left hand out the driver’s door window.  He then pointed it back out the window toward the deputies and fired multiple shots.”

During the pursuit, a woman who was in the vehicle with Escobedo called 911 and reported that Escobedo was going to kill her if deputies did not stop chasing him.  Escobedo was heard yelling during the 911 call.

Adams deputies set out stop sticks to deflate Escobedo’s tires and end the pursuit safely.  Escobedo’s vehicle hit the stop sticks and crashed shortly afterward, ending the pursuit.

A woman exited the vehicle with Escobedo allegedly holding a gun to her head and using her as a shield from the police. 

Clark said:

“As she was attempting to get away from the vehicle, the male grabbed her and he continued to maintain control of her by wrapping his left arm around her chest and neck while holding the handgun to her head with his right hand . . . The male positioned himself between her and the officers, using her as a human shield.”

Fearing that Escobedo may harm the woman, an Adams deputy shot him, causing him to fall and release the woman, who was then able to flee to safety uninjured.  While on the ground, Escobedo kept hold of his gun and continued moving despite orders to stop.

Escobedo then was said to point the gun at officers, causing two deputies and two Denver Police officers to open fire.  Escobedo was struck, and the law enforcement officers immediately rendered aid at the scene.  Despite medical efforts, Escobedo was pronounced deceased at the scene.

All officers involved have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

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Law Enforcement Today recently reported on an officer-involved shooting that saved a woman’s life with a single shot:

LAS VEGAS, NV – An officer is being credited with saving the life of a woman being attacked . . . by firing just one shot.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police recently held a press conference on the Sept. 6 officer-involved shooting.  The investigation stemmed from a domestic violence incident

 

Chris Darcy, the assistant sheriff for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, said the incident was dispatched as a domestic disturbance which was called in just after 9 p.m.  The location was in the 10300 bock of Timber Willow Avenue.

Darcy advised that Sgt. Douglas King, who is assigned to the Community Policing Division, fired one round at Seth Holiday during the fatal incident. 

Darcy said that Holiday had eight kitchen knives and showed a picture of one bloody butcher-style knife.  The briefing goes on to show numerous other knives, some with blood on them as well.

Darcy advised that if Holiday had survived the incident, he would have been criminally charged with attempted homicide, domestic related.  Darcy then explained the details surrounding the dispatching of police to Holiday’s residence.

A 911 call was placed with the LVMPD from Holiday’s psychiatrist stating that Holiday was becoming aggressive and violent with his spouse.  The doctor believed that Holiday’s current mental state was causing him to be a “danger” to her.  Holiday’s wife had called the doctor to inform him of her husband’s condition. 

In addition to her call to the doctor, Holiday’s wife called 911 informing the police that Holiday had stabbed himself and that she needed to get him medical attention.  However, shortly after that initial statement, the wife began screaming that Holiday had a knife and was trying to kill her.

This new information was relayed to responding officers and Sgt. King arrived at the location with several other officers.  When they approached the front door of the residence, they noted it was open, although a metal security door was shut behind it.

Officers could see Holiday’s wife through the screen door with Holiday standing nearby.  Darcy advised that the officers could clearly tell that a physical altercation was occurring between the two of them. 

Sgt. King began giving several loud commands to Holiday telling him to drop the knife.  As these commands were being given, Holiday refused the order and his wife began yelling at the officers to help her.

Holiday yelled to the officers that he wanted them to shoot him, and at that moment, Sgt. King fired one round through the security door, striking Holiday.  Officers immediately called for medical assistance and attempted to save him at the scene but Holiday succumbed to his injuries.

Darcy noted that each time the woman would strip a knife from her husband, he would go grab another one and used eight knives in total during the attack. Darcy said of Sgt. King’s response:

“We don’t necessarily create the scenario; we respond to it. That supervisor, that sergeant in that case, had to make a decision in a split second, and that decision was to save somebody’s life that was being actively stabbed.” 

Holiday’s wife was then transported to a local hospital where she was treated for several stab wounds on her body.  Darcy advised that the woman was listed in stable condition in the hospital.

Darcy reported that there was a juvenile in the home.  Without saying Holiday’s relationship to the juvenile, he did report that the child was placed with family members while the woman recovers in the hospital.

Darcy then played the 911 recordings and showed the body camera footage from Sgt. King.  Although the video is slightly unclear through the metal security door, when the shot is fired, Holiday is seen standing and facing the deputy with a knife. 

Based on the video and 911 calls, Sgt. King was left with little option to subdue Holiday.  If Sgt. King attempted to gain entry or take any other measure to stop Holiday from attacking the woman, that would have given him additional opportunities to stab her, which could have resulted in her death.

Sgt. King appears to be a hero for his actions.  Thankfully, the police in Las Vegas have not been defunded as of yet.  Had they been, no one is sure what a trained, unarmed mental-health therapist could have done to save this woman’s life.

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