AURORA | Aurora police released details Thursday, May 12, regarding an officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of an armed man following a lengthy chase in the early hours of Wednesday, May 11.
At about 11:56 p.m. May 10, police said that they received a call regarding an armed carjacking of a white Jeep Cherokee at the Wendy’s restaurant at 15400 E. Colfax Ave. Police said that officers attempted to stop the stolen vehicle at the intersection of East Mississippi Avenue and South Rifle Street, at which point the Jeep — carrying the suspect and one female passenger — rammed a police cruiser and began a high-speed chase southeast, repeatedly driving into oncoming traffic on South Tower Road. A red Dodge sedan, which was driven by a female, followed the white Jeep for the entirety of the chase, according to police.
At 12:15 a.m., police said that officers pinned the suspect’s vehicle using their cruisers in the 7700 block of South Quatar Court. Police said that the driver of the stolen car then pointed a loaded handgun at officers. Four Aurora Police officers then fired multiple, fatal rounds at the suspect, subduing him. Police did not specify how many rounds were fired.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Arapahoe County Coroner’s office identified the man killed as 35-year-old Stephen Ray Schuster.
None of the officers nor the passenger were injured in the shooting, according to police.
“This suspect had every opportunity to stop, (but) chose not to,” Matthew Fyles, major crimes unit sergeant with APD, said at a press conference Thursday.
In a statement given to police, the woman who was in the white Jeep with Schuster said that before the end of the pursuit, Schuster said he would, “shoot it out with the police and kill them all,” if he had to, according to Fyles. The woman also told police that the driver made references to not wanting to return to prison.
Police have not released the identities of the two associated women.
Police arrested the woman who was traveling with the suspect in the white Jeep on an active warrant and additional charges, according to Aurora police. The woman driving in the red Dodge was detained, but not arrested. Police said that they are not currently seeking any additional suspects.
Police said that Schuster had an “extensive” criminal record and had served multiple stints with the Department of Corrections, including one stay that pertained to an assault on a police officer.
As is department protocol, all four officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave while the investigation into the incident continues.
The incident on Wednesday night marked the third officer-involved shooting by Aurora police in the past week and a half, according to police. Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz said during the press conference that two of those shootings involved suspects who were carrying guns, while the third involved a suspect who had a replica gun.
Although hesitant to point to a trend of violence in Aurora, Metz said that police across the city are facing hostility.
“I don’t know if I can say that there’s an actual trend, I think we can say, however, that we are seeing increased violence out in our communities,” he said. “Our officers have been facing a lot of physical aggression.
“I’ll be very blunt about it: If you a point a gun at one of my officers, expect that there will be an aggressive and a very overwhelming response.”