A Denver police officer was shot in the neck after a man handcuffed in the back of a police vehicle accessed a weapon “concealed on his person” and shot the officer just before being booked into the downtown Denver jail about 11 p.m. Monday night, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said in a 1:30 a.m. press conference.
Another officer in the area then shot back at the man, hitting him multiple times.
The man, who was in critical condition as of the press conference, was originally arrested on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle.
Police spotted the stolen vehicle about 9 p.m. near Perry Street and Arkansas Avenue and attempted to stop it, but the vehicle driver eluded officers for a short distance before stopping at Lowell Boulevard and Iowa Avenue.
The man was detained, and officers recovered a handgun and suspected narcotics on him.
They then transported the man to the downtown jail, and as they were attempting to remove the man from the back of the police vehicle to book him into the jail, “he somehow was able to access another weapon and fire at least one round, striking one of the officers in the neck,” Thomas said.
At least one other officer fired back at the man and hit him multiple times, Thomas said.
Both he and the officer were then transported to a hospital, and the officer “has a good prognosis,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the investigation will confirm what happened, but he believes the weapon the man used was “concealed on his person.”
Denver police detectives and investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Colorado State Patrol will investigate the shooting.
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