The Denver police shooting death of a carjacking suspect, who had fired a handgun randomly into a playground and who fired shots at officers, was a justified use of deadly force, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.
The shooting death of Cedrick Vick, 22, happened on May 14 at West First Avenue and Perry Street, according to review letter of the incident released Thursday. Nine officers fired at total of 109 shots at Vick.
“At the moment they discharged their firearms, the officers knew that Mr. Vick had fired his gun at least twice before shooting at and carjacking a woman who was holding a young child; that his gun was real, and that he was willing to shoot at both civilians and police,” District Attorney Beth McCann said in a news release. “Mr. Vick posed an immediate threat to public safety and these nine officers were more than justified in using deadly force to stop him.”
The officers who fired at Vick are: Joshua Catlett, 20 rounds; Justin Kennedy, 18 rounds; Shane Madrigal, 19 rounds; John McAndrews, 15 rounds; Eduardo Medero, eight rounds; Maneechot Phanpaktra, five rounds; John Schaal, 12 rounds; John Silva, six rounds; and Jesse Trudel, six rounds.
McCann’s 24-page decision letter to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen, dated Thursday, included witness and police statements, along with three photographs of Vick holding and brandishing a handgun. Video footage from officers’ body cameras were reviewed as part of the police shooting investigation.
On May 14, five people called 911 at about 4:15 p.m. to report a man acting erratically and waving a gun in the 4400 block of Morrison Road in the Westwood neighborhood. One caller reported shots fired.
Responding officers found a woman who said a man had stolen her car at gunpoint, police said after the incident. A toddler was sitting in the back seat and the woman was able to take the child from the vehicle before the man, later identified as Vick, took the car. The woman told police that Vick fired his gun at her. He also fired at another woman prior to the carjacking, according to the review.
Officers pursued the stolen car and Vick fired at officers during the pursuit through southwest Denver neighborhoods. At one point the car crashed into another vehicle, the people in the car were not injured. Vick crashed the stolen car at First and Perry. Vick fired at least five times at strangers and police in about a 15-minute span, police said at the time.
When Vick got out of the crashed car, he was armed and opened fire at police, according to the review.
“I conclude that under applicable Colorado law, no criminal charges are warranted against these officers,” McCann said in the decision letter. “My decision, based on standards of criminal law, does not limit administrative action by the Denver Police Department, where tactical issues may be reviewed, or civil actions where less stringent laws, rules and legal levels of proof apply.”
McCann will present a public virtual meeting about the shooting decision at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, via Microsoft Teams.
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