AURORA | Arapahoe County prosecutors have determined that an Aurora police office whose bullet grazed the chin of a man wanted in connection with crimes related to domestic violence acted appropriately when he fired his gun during an attempted arrest at 7-Eleven convenience store this summer.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Clinton McKinzie found that Aurora Officer Bryce Settles was justified when he shot at Jeremiah Dean’s car in a parking lot at 15296 E. Hampden Ave. in the early morning hours of July 12, 2021. Dean, who police were attempting to arrest for stealing his ex-girlfriend’s cell phone and violating a protection order, sped away and nearly ran Settles over during the fracas.
“Officer Settles did not have the time or the ability to use lesser force or even warn Mr. Dean of his intent to respond with deadly force,” McKinzie wrote. “Officer Settles was justified in attempting to use deadly physical force against Mr. Dean to defend himself from the unlawful, imminent and actual use of deadly physical force against him.”
The encounter began just after midnight on July 12 when Dean’s ex-girlfriend called police to report that Dean had stolen her phone and tried to cause a car crash. Police then met her at the central Aurora convenience store and tried to arrange to meet Dean, too.
Dean eventually arrived at the 7-Eleven, but never got out of his car, a white Ford Taurus.
As police approached from a nearby but clandestine location in an attempt to apprehend him, he reversed his car out of a parking space, “turned the car hard to one side and very nearly struck Officer Settles,” according to McKinzie’s report.
Settle’s jumped out of the way, and fired one shot through the driver’s side door.
Police found Dean’s car a short time later and found blood in the vehicle. A single bullet hole was found just about the driver’s side door handle.
Though Dean initially evaded authorities, he turned himself in to the Arapahoe County jail several days later. Officials determined he had a graze-wound under his chin upon intake.