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Armed car theft suspect shot and killed by police in Colorado Springs on Thursday as sheriff’s office investigates

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 7:50 AM MDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 9:48 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Police say they were forced to shoot a rifle-wielding suspect after a Taser failed to stop him on Thursday.

The suspect was taken to the hospital and died later that same day.

The suspect had been caught red-handed inside a stolen vehicle near I-25 by officers Thursday morning, according to Colorado Springs Police.

“Around 6:30, officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department were doing enforcement looking for stolen vehicles,” Lt. James Sokolik with the Colorado Springs Police Department stated. “They were part of a specialized detail for that day. They were here in the parking lot of the Quality Inn in the 500 block of West Garden of the Gods. They located a vehicle with no license plate and attempted to make contact with the occupant who was inside that vehicle.”

The driver fled, Lt. Sokolik said, but his escape was short-lived after his car got stuck on a curb.

“The suspect then exited that vehicle with an AR-15 rifle, placed it under his chin. The suspect began to walk... from the back of this hotel towards Garden of the Gods.”

Officers yelled at the suspect to stop and drop his weapon “to no effect,” Sokolik added.

“They were being ignored. The suspect was not complying with their verbal commands to put down the weapon.”

As the suspect was crossing the parking lot of a Phillips 66 gas station, police say he spotted a person pumping gas and began walking towards them.

“One of the officers at CSPD deploys Taser. That Taser is ineffective. One of the officers from CSPD then deploys his rifle, shoots the suspect at least one time, striking the suspect at least one time,” Sokolik explained.

Because a Colorado Springs police officer fired their weapon, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is heading the investigation as the outside agency.

“Initial investigation is he stepped out of that vehicle with the AR-15. ... That’s significant distance that he traveled until the end of our scene here on Garden of the Gods,” Sokolik said.

The vehicle was later confirmed as stolen.

The involved officer was not injured and has been placed on administrative leave per CSPD’s policy.

The suspect has not been publicly identified. No officers or bystanders were injured in the incident.

“This was an isolated incident and there is no danger to the public,” a release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office reads.

11 News has formally requested any body camera footage of the incident, if any is available.

This shooting marks the second deadly shooting involving authorities this week in Colorado Springs. The first occurred along I-25 on Monday and involved an officer with the Fountain Police Department and a Colorado State Patrol Trooper. Colorado Springs Police are handling the investigation for the shooting on Monday as an outside agency. That shooting occured after a chase along I-25 from Pueblo to N. Academy Boulevard in Colorado Springs. The suspect in Monday’s shooting was believed to be involved in an attempted armed robbery.

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