AURORA | An Adams County jury has convicted a 21-year-old man of attempted manslaughter for shooting an Aurora police officer in 2014.
Jahvell Forrest, 21, was charged with attempted murder after police say he shot Aurora police Officer Ryan Burns in the leg during a November 2014 traffic stop in north Aurora.
But jurors on Tuesday, Feb. 2, found Forrest guilty of the lesser charge of attempted manslaughter, according to Adams County district attorney spokeswoman Sue Lindsay.
Forrest was also convicted of second-degree assault of Burns, attempted manslaughter of Officer Dale Leonard, attempted second-degree assault of Leonard, felony menacing of Leonard and first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft.
His sentencing is set for March.
Burns was wounded in the leg and police said he only survived because his partner, Officer Leonard, quickly used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Police said Burns needed five liters of blood during his hospital stay.
Burns survived his injuries, but Aurora police spokesman Sgt. Chris Amsler said Burns just returned to full active duty in December, more than a year after the shooting.
In a preliminary hearing last year police testified that Forrest’s then-17-year-old brother told investigators that Forrest was “scared and had no choice,” but to shoot at police when they pulled him over driving a stolen car that night.
In addition to being behind the wheel of a stolen car, Forrest had a .40-caliber handgun and multiple active warrants for his arrest, police said.
Police said surveillance footage showed Forrest and his brother inside a Family Dollar store on the corner of East Colfax Avenue and Galena Street just before Forrest stole a Volkswagen Passat that was left running in front of the store.
A short time later, Burns and Leonard spotted the car facing the wrong direction nearby. The vehicle took off and the officers spotted it again near Fulton Street and East 17th Avenue. The officers were approaching the car when someone inside opened fire, striking Burns in the leg, police said.
Forrest was questioned by an Aurora police officer while exiting a perimeter set up shortly following the shooting, but he used a fake name and was let through.
Forrest, who has been in jail since a few days after the shooting, is also facing burglary charges in Arapahoe County.