AURORA | Two Aurora police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave as part of standard protocol after shooting and injuring a man who fired a gun in their vicinity in the 2300 block of South Xanadu Street Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators said the man fired one round near officers after they responded to a domestic violence-related call in which he was believed to be a suspect.
Police fired an unknown number of rounds back at the man at about 12:30 p.m. July 20, Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson told reporters later in the afternoon.
Dispatchers said they could hear screams from inside the residence and then gunfire, Wilson said. When police arrived, a man inside came out of the home and police engaged him.
Wilson said the officers attempted to “de-escalate” the situation before the man fired his gun. Both officers then fired back, injuring the man.
Neither officer was injured during the encounter, Wilson said.
The injured man is currently in surgery at a nearby hospital, and he is expected to survive his injuries, Wilson said.
Wilson described both of the officers who fired at the man as “veterans” within the department, suggesting both had been with the agency for more than a decade.
“Neither officer has been previously involved in an officer-involved shooting,” Agent Matthew Longshore said in a statement.
Neighbors initially called 911 after hearing screaming and a gunshot emanate from an apartment in the area, Wilson said.
She said the man who was shot was having an argument with a female romantic partner inside the unit. She said the woman was not physically harmed in the encounter.
The shooting incident will now be forwarded to a regional investigations group in the judicial district serving Arapahoe County. Aurora police joined the review panel earlier this year as a means of ensuring enhanced transparency.
The incident Tuesday marked the fourth time this month an Aurora police officer has fired a gun at a person believed to be wanted in connection with a crime. On July 6, Aurora SWAT officers shot and injured a man wanted on a homicide charge at a motel on East Colfax Avenue. Six days later, an officer shot in the direction of a car that was traveling toward the officer in a 7-Eleven parking lot, though it’s unclear if anyone was struck in the fracas.
On July 13, a pair of officers shot at a man who spent hours firing at SWAT officials barricaded inside an armored car that became stuck in mud outside of an Aurora condo. The man was grazed by shrapnel in the encounter and arrested, authorities said.
On June 28, an Aurora officer stunned a man with a TASER and shot him with a bean bag from a shotgun following an altercation at an extended-stay hotel.
The five recent incidents in June and July are the only times an Aurora officer has been publicly reported to have fired at a suspect in 2021.
Wilson appealed to the public to contact police or other agencies if they’re victims of domestic violence, especially at a critical moment. Police dispatchers cant be texted at 911, as well as called, in Aurora.