DENVER, CO – With everything happening in the world these days, police are responding faster and faster to releasing information to the public about officer-involved shootings. This case is no exception.
Adams County Deputies and Denver Police Officers pursued a suspect who eventually crashed on September 12th. When the suspect got out of the car, he allegedly used a woman that was also in a car as a human shield, prompting officers to fire and kill him.
The woman, miraculously, was not hurt.
DPD provides information on Officer involved shooting, 1500 N Meade St https://t.co/asgMisGFAN
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) September 12, 2020
The incident started out when deputies with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office noticed a vehicle without a license plate in the parking lot of a store. Deputies moved to stop the vehicle for the traffic infraction and the driver, later identified as Christopher Escobedo, initially stopped.
As the deputy exited his patrol vehicle, Escobedo fled, prompting a vehicle pursuit. At the start of the pursuit, Escobedo allegedly began waving a gun outside of the vehicle, putting officers on notice that he was armed.
Police allege that Escobedo began firing on deputies as they were pursuing him. According to Lieutenant Matt Clark from the Denver Police Department’s Major Crimes Division:
“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.”
Clark advised that Escobedo fired numerous times on deputies during the 14-minute vehicle pursuit. At some point during the pursuit, a woman, who was a passenger in the car called 911 on her cell phone.
The woman, who was described as “frantic,” allegedly told 911 operators that Escobedo threatened to kill her if the deputies did not stop the vehicle pursuit. Dispatchers noted that they could hear Escobedo screaming in the background.
Deputies utilized stop sticks to get the vehicle’s tires deflated in hopes it would end the high-speed vehicle pursuit. Escobedo’s tires did strike the strips and he ended up crashing the vehicle at Meade Street and Conejos Place.
Both Escobedo and the unnamed woman exited the car, and instead of giving up, he allegedly grabbed hold of the woman and used her as a shield. While using her as a shield, he kept the gun trained on the woman’s head. 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 [Escobedeo] positioned himself between her and the officers, using her as a human shield.”
Law Enforcement made several efforts to talk Escobedo into letting the woman go and surrendering. However, every attempt they made was futile and Escobedo began making comments of suicide.
Then, as if a scene from a movie, a deputy saw an opportunity and fired on Escobedo who fell to the ground. This allowed the woman who was being held captive to escape from the situation unharmed.
Law Enforcement officers from Adams County and now the Denver Police Department moved in to secure and render aid to Escobedo. However, as they approached, he kept control of his firearm and began moving it around.
Ultimately, Escobedo allegedly pointed the gun at officers which prompted four of them to open fire. The officers then rushed in and provided medical aid while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. However, their efforts were unsuccessful, and Escobedo was pronounced dead at the scene.
Update: the person involved is identified as an adult male and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) September 12, 2020
Detectives located 51 shell cases at the scene of the shooting where Escobedo allegedly was holding a woman hostage and pointed a gun at officers. They also located and recovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun and an additional magazine with ammunition.
Clark advised that detectives did locate four spent shell casings inside of Escobedo’s vehicle. Most likely these shell cases ended up there while he was allegedly firing on officers during the vehicle pursuit.
Just last month, a similar situation played out in Columbia, South Carolina.
According to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, a shootout took place on August 9th that involved a child being used as a human shield at one point. Additionally, two sheriff’s deputies were reportedly injured.
Luckily, reports indicate that the child was not harmed during the fray.
#UPDATE: The subject involved in the exchange of gunfire is 27-year-old Albertus David Lewis. Deputies have been dispatched to his apartment six times since April, including twice yesterday afternoon. #LESM #PIO https://t.co/XJzDXhmXCu
— Adam Myrick (@AdamThePIO) August 10, 2020
Sheriff Jay Koon stated the deputies were responding to a domestic violence call when things escalated quickly. Deputies responded to an apartment complex where the call originated from, and at some point during the interaction 27-year-old Albertus Lewis was using a child to shield himself from potential fire.
During a press conference, Sheriff Koon noted the type of mental state one would have to be in to even fathom the thought of using a child as a shield from gunfire:
“When you have somebody that’s is going to challenge a law enforcement officer with a handgun and use a child as a human shield, that’s not normal.”
While details are scant at the time, Sheriff Koon stated that while Lewis and two deputies were injured during the incident, the child came under no harm. The suspect is expected to survive from his sustained injuries as well as both deputies.
Deputies has been called out to the home in question six times since April of this year, and the interaction that led to gunfire was a result of the second time deputies were called out to the residence that day.
Regarding the suspect Lewis, he apparently has a sordid past when it comes to gun violence. Lewis was apparently out on bond during the recent shootout for a murder charge stemming back from 2017. Police say that the case originating in Richland County involved Lewis shooting his then-girlfriend and then left her outside of a hospital emergency room seated in a wheelchair.
The investigation into the shooting that played out on August 9th is still ongoing.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today to receive updates as this case develops further.
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Meanwhile in Atlanta, Georgia, a case involving a child accidentally shooting himself leads to one prohibited possessor getting arrested. Interesting that felons can still manage to secure guns despite gun control laws preventing that very thing.
A 31-year-old male was taken into custody after a toddler was said to have accidentally shot himself in the head.
The two-year-old was said to have been transported to the hospital in critical condition after the incident, and the man arrested was said to have been a felon in possession of a firearm.
A man is facing several charges including cruelty to children after a 2-year-old boy shot himself in the head in a northwest Atlanta home.
Dontavious Wells, 31, was arrested in… https://t.co/f9REo6W85A
— Atlanta News (@AtlNewsNow) August 9, 2020
It’s unclear what status the young boy is in currently, outside of reports of him being in critical condition when sent to the hospital.
However, 31-year-old Dontavious Wells is facing a slew of charges currently following the self-inflicted gunshot incident.
Wells has been charged with reckless conduct, theft by receiving a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and cruelty to children in the second degree.
Based upon how the current charges are stacked, it seems as though the firearm used in the incident wasn’t obtained legally by Wells.
Atlanta Police had first responded to the scene at around 10:00 a.m. on August 8th after a call came in about a child shot in the head within the 2800 block of Delray Drive NW. Police say that a single gunshot wound was present on the toddler and first responders immediately rushed him to the hospital.
Detectives detained numerous people on the scene at the time, and so far everything points to an accidental discharge by the toddler’s own hands.
The investigation is still ongoing. Please follow Law Enforcement Today to receive updates as this case progresses.
Mom uses baby as shield while assaulting security officers. City pays her $625k.
NEW YORK CITY- If you are a criminal and you want to get away with it, there are not too many better places than New York City. You also get paid as well.
Who says “crime doesn’t pay?”
Last December 7, Jazmine Headley was seen in a viral video using her one-year-old son as a human shield while she was being arrested for an incident at the Human Resources Administration office in New York. During the encounter which was videotaped by a bystander, the child was removed from her arms.
According to WPIX, Headley’s benefits were shut off unexpectedly, and she had to bring the child because she couldn’t find adequate childcare. This was according to borough President Eric Adams, who interjected himself into the incident.
For his part, Adams insisted that charges be dropped against Headley and, true to political form, compared her plight to “families being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Police officers were called on Headley after she refused to leave the office, despite requests from Human Resources Administration peace officer, police said.
She “was then informed by police numerous times to leave the location, and she refused.”
Officers forcibly removed the child, and handcuffed her, the video showed.
Headley had claimed that there were no open seats in the office which is why she sat in the middle of the floor, however witness statements from two Human Resources Administration security officers contradicted that statement.
They said that Headley intentionally escalated the incident by refusing to comply with commands when she was asked to clear the area she was sitting in. There were open seats in the office the reports said.
The two officers, Toyin Ramos-Williams and Betinna Barnett-Weekes were each suspended 30 days without pay as a result of the incident.
Of course then, the politicians piled on.
Anti-police mayor of New York Bill de Blasio placed blame on the two HRA peace officers even before the investigation had been completed.
“These courageous peace officers were suspended because Mayor de Blasio cannot manage New York City or a crisis,” said Greg Floyd.
He’s the president of Teamsters Local 237, the union that represents the officers.
“Instead of waiting for an investigation to conclude, he has decided to use these two peace officers as scapegoats. They are heroes and deserve our gratitude and an official apology from Mayor de Blasio.”
During the struggle, Headley kicked an HRA peace officer supervisor in the shoulder and bit a peace officer on the arm. The peace officer was transported to Methodist Hospital and treated for the bite wound.
At some point during the incident, officer statements say that she removed the child from a stroller and used him as a shield from getting arrested.
More politicians chimed in.
“This is unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking. I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this,” City Council Speaker Cory Johnson said in a tweet.
Public Advocate Leticia James stated in a Facebook post that the officers’ actions are “appalling and contemptible.”
“Being poor is not a crime…No mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video,” she said.
For his part, Adams said:
“If it’s wrong in Mexico, then it’s wrong in New York City. Clearly our police department, the most well-trained police department in the country, should be able to deescalate a situation with a baby and the mother without duplicating Trump security removal of children.”
It is unknown if Adams had the same issues under the Obama administration.
Headley had been charged with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child, obstructing governmental administration and criminal trespass.
Also, this mother of the year had an outstanding arrest warrant from New Jersey Superior Court from July 2017 for failure to appear in relation to credit card fraud, according to the Mercer County Sheriff’s office.
In that case, Headley and two other people were accused of making or using a dozen credit cards printed with numbers and names that didn’t match their magnetic strips, and having a driver’s license that didn’t belong to them.
Four days later, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez dismissed all of the New York charges against Headley “in the interest of justice.”
Gonzalez said he was “horrified by the violence depicted in the video.” He said the situation should have been handled differently.
“The consequences this young and desperate mother has already suffered as a result of this arrest far outweigh any conduct that may have let to it: she and her baby have been traumatized, she was jailed on an unrelated warrant and may face additional collateral consequences,” Gonzalez said in a statement.
The Brooklyn Defender Services office had motioned Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Craig Walker to dismiss all the charges and release her from jail. They also set up a “GoFundMe” page to help her “get back on her feet.”
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Not happy with the dismissal of the New York charges, the group also asked the Mercer County District Attorney in New Jersey “to IMMEDIATELY dismiss these charges. Jazmine has been through so much.” Perhaps ask is too kind a word…more like demanded.
True to form in the liberal land of New Jersey, the Mercer County DA was more than happy to dismiss all charges against her if she paid a $1000 fine and agreed to community service. Since her GoFundMe page had raised over $32,000 she likely did not have a problem paying the fine.
After today (Monday), Headley will have even less to be worried about financially.
New York City has agreed to pay her $625,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Headley against the city, alleging “trauma and humiliation” and seeking unspecified damages.
In February, she testified before the city council, which gave her a public apology and then passed legislation “aimed at improving how people are treated at benefits offices” and making the system “more transparent.”
Her attorneys said in a statement:
“Through her intelligence, bravery and grace, Jazmine Headley turned the worst ordeal of her life—and any parents—into an opportunity for change for the entire city.”
No word was given on anyone on the city council defending the officers who Headley assaulted last December or inquiring on how they were doing. Such is the life of being a law enforcement official in the de Blasio era in New York City.
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