A teenage suspect is dead and three deputies are on paid leave after deputies opened fire on the suspect in Arapahoe County after he fled the scene of a reported domestic violence incident Nov. 15, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.
Allen Fanning, the 18-year-old suspect, was transported to an area hospital and later pronounced dead, according to the sheriff's and Arapahoe County Coroner's offices. One deputy received minor injuries and is expected to be OK, said Julie Brooks, sheriff's office spokeswoman. As of a news conference shortly before 11 a.m., it was unclear how the deputy was injured. It was not due to a vehicle crash, Brooks said at 2 p.m.
Deputies pursued the man for potential charges of felony menacing after reports he may have threatened someone with a firearm, according to the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office received a call from a bystander at 9:06 a.m. who reported the incident, which occurred at a business near Arapahoe Road and Potomac Street in Centennial. After deputies arrived, the suspect fled in a vehicle, authorities said.
"Deputies were pretty close by and responded immediately," Brooks said.
The names of the deputies involved have not been released. Two of the deputies placed on leave have been with the sheriff's office for more than 10 years and one has been with the agency for three years, according to a news release by the sheriff's office.
According to the sheriff’s office, here’s how the incident unfolded:
Officers in patrol cars chased the suspect, later identified as Fanning, to the intersection of Arapahoe Road and South Dayton Street, where they boxed him in with their vehicles. They approached the car he was driving and ordered him to get out. He ignored their commands and as officers attempted to break in his window, they saw him reach for what they believed was a firearm. They opened fire on him at about 9:15 a.m.
Deputies immediately removed him from the car and began CPR once he was deemed to no longer be a threat, the release said. Authorities recovered a loaded gun from the car he was driving.
Brooks did not know how many shots were fired. No one else was in the vehicle with the suspect. The scene sits along the border between Centennial and Greenwood Village.
As of the afternoon of Nov. 15, Brooks said she was not aware of any injuries at the site of the shooting other than those of the suspect and deputy, she said.
Brooks said the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office Critical Response Team would be responsible for determining what kind of weapon was in the car and whether the suspect grabbed it and pointed it at deputies.
Two investigations are underway. One is a criminal investigation into the potential felony menacing charges and a second into the use of lethal force by deputies. How many deputies shot at the suspect and how many times he was shot would be information released by the Critical Response Team after its investigation, Brooks said.
Both Arapahoe Road and Dayton Street reopened as of about 1 p.m. Arapahoe Road was closed in both directions, westbound at South Havana Street and eastbound at South Clinton Street, the sheriff's office said on Twitter. Greenwood Village police officers arrived on scene to assist deputies, but they did not fire any shots, Brooks said.
John Munoz works at a business near where the shooting occurred.
“We all heard the gunshots,” he said.
“Next thing I hear is my boss saying ‘they’re shooting.’ And then, I just hear ‘pop, pop, pop ... '”
Jesse Kolbe is a manager at Big O Tires on Potomac Street, where the reported domestic disturbance began. Kolbe said employees were in the shop's parking lot changing the tire on a vehicle belonging to a man and a woman when another man came "screaming out of nowhere."
Kolbe instructed his employees to step away from the group as an argument ensued. He called 911 after the first man who had arrived at their shop asked him to. Shortly after deputies arrived, the second man came into the shop and said the other man had a gun, Kolbe said.
Deputies drew their weapons and were approaching the first man when he got in his vehicle and left, Kolbe said.
"It happened pretty quick," he said.
Garth Wilson works at Bailey's Moving and Storage near Arapahoe Road and South Peoria Street in Centennial. He was making a delivery in his truck and drove into the right-hand lane at Arapahoe Road and Dayton Street when he heard sirens and saw a white car run into a law enforcement vehicle, he said. Another law enforcement car then hit the white car, he added.
"Quite a few (deputies) jumped out with guns drawn," said Wilson, a 54-year-old from Lakewood.
Wilson dove down in his truck, about a lane's width away from the white car the suspect was in, he said.
After the incident, he thought of "how life can change in just a split second," Wilson said. "Appreciate what you've got."
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