Aurora police officer accidentally shoots car theft suspect in Denver

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AURORA | A car theft suspect is in critical condition after an Aurora police officer accidentally shot him Thursday night in Denver, police said Friday.

The shooting happened just before 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, in northeast Denver when the officer, who works for Aurora police and is assigned to a regional auto theft task force, tried to arrest the suspect on a snowy sidewalk and lost his footing, police said.

“I think the footing plays a part in this,” said Denver police Commander Ron Saunier.

Because the shooting happened in Denver, Denver police will lead the investigation and the Denver District Attorney will decide whether the officer will face charges, Aurora and Denver police said during a joint press conference Friday at Aurora police headquarters.

Police said the incident started when officers investigating an auto theft ring followed a stolen car from a home in Commerce City that investigators believe was a hub of car theft.

The stolen white Honda pulled into a northeast Denver parking lot and the driver abandoned it, police said, and later sped away in a black Acura.

Officers in unmarked cars chased the vehicle and when the driver tried a U-turn at East 45th Avenue and Ivy Street, officers pinned the car.

The driver, who was not armed, jumped out and tried to flee, police said. When the Aurora officer tried to arrest him, the officer lost his footing and fired a single shot, striking the man in his torso, police said.

The officer, whose name has not been released, is a 16-year Aurora police veteran and known as an auto theft expert, said Aurora police Chief Nick Metz.

“He is incredibly well respected,” Metz said.

Because of the shooting, Metz said he has ordered a review of the department’s gun-handling training, as well as a tactical review of the incident.

The auto theft suspect, who has not been charged with a crime because he remains in the hospital, will likely face auto theft charges from Commerce City and other charges stemming from the chase, Saunier said.

Saunier identified the man as 20-year-old Christopher Padilla.

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gofastgo
gofastgo
5 years ago

All I can think to say, is ‘Good’.

Retiree
Retiree
5 years ago
Reply to  gofastgo

Too bad he didn’t kill him, right googol?

gofastgo
gofastgo
5 years ago
Reply to  Retiree

You know, there are certain posters on this blog who think calling names is the only way they can try to get a point across, it doesn’t work. It only shows your juvenile nature, but it does hold with liberal, Democrat narrative, ‘racist, homophobe, hater, isolationist’, are all names the left immediately applies to anyone who doesn’t agree with them, everyone.

Joe Hardhat
Joe Hardhat
5 years ago

The car theft suspect will be driving a new Mercedes paid for in cash after he’s awarded a million bucks or more in an upcoming lawsuit.

pameddydeo
pameddydeo
5 years ago
Reply to  Joe Hardhat

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davebarnes
davebarnes
5 years ago

What?
Not allegedly stolen white Honda?

gofastgo
gofastgo
5 years ago
Reply to  davebarnes

The probably ascertained that it was stolen, and that his shorts were only a few days old, and that he was ‘working hard’ to straighten out his life, trying his best to pay for his children, obeying most laws, what more can you do for this person?

richard_77777
richard_77777
5 years ago

Too bad the animal is still alive.

Retiree
Retiree
5 years ago
Reply to  richard_77777

Death for a car theft suspect. The new normal in Aurora.

richard_77777
richard_77777
5 years ago
Reply to  Retiree

Exactly!!

Retiree
Retiree
5 years ago
Reply to  richard_77777

Wow. So what’s your new punishment for shoplifters? Waterboarding?

Retiree
Retiree
5 years ago

Oops, sorrrrry! My bad!