Lakewood, CO, Cop Shoots Driver As She Drags His Arm in Her Car
Early on Thursday morning, a police officer shot a woman driving a stolen SUV who refused to stop for him and who pulled away from a traffic stop while dragging the officer, whose arm was in her car, news reports say.
The woman died later at a hospital, Lakewood Police Department spokesman Steve Hipwell told TheDenverChannel.com. Jordan Steffen writes for The Denver Post that police have not identified the woman, other than to say she was 40 years old, pending positive identification by autopsy and notification of her family.
Police had stopped her at about 12:30 a.m. on West Colfax Avenue at Pierce Street, when they noticed the 2007 Suzuki had stolen plates, Steffen writes. The car had been stolen that same week, police said.
As Phil Tenser and Alan Gathright report for TheDenverChannel.com:
The first officer walked up to the driver-side window and the second officer approached a male seated in the front-passenger seat.
The passenger, later identified as Bernard John Trujillo, 48, a parolee with a long arrest history, became combative and the second officer used a Taser stun gun on him, Hipwell said.
At that point, Hipwell said the woman behind the wheel began to drive away.
‘The first agent’s arm was pinned inside the vehicle as the female driver attempted to drive away. The agent fired his weapon striking the female,’ Hipwell said.
The officer had reached into the vehicle with his left hand to shut it off, Davis clarified. He fired his weapon with his right hand.
It was after the police officer whose arm was in the driver’s side of the car was dragged a few feet as the vehicle pulled away that he pulled his service pistol with his free arm and shot the driver, according to Lakewood police, Steffen writes.
A police spokesperson said neither of the officers sustained serious injuries, Steffen writes, and the officers’ name were not released. Hipwell told The Denver Channel that the officer who was dragged is “shaken” but otherwise doing well. “Something like this is obviously very traumatic for everybody, especially and including police officers,” Hipwell said.
Police arrested the passenger, Trujillo, on suspicion of resisting an officer, obstructing police, receiving stolen property, possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, and possession of narcotics equipment, TheDenverChannel.com reports. Hipwell said Trujillo was also wanted for parole violation.
According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Trujillo has a nine-page Colorado criminal history, including arrests for explosives possession, domestic violence, assault, obstructing police, auto theft, drug possession, escape, burglary, and repeated parole violations, and uses several alias and three different birth dates, TheDenverChannel.com writes. In several of the aliases, Trujillo has used the name Duran, Steffen writes in The Denver Post.
TheDenverChannel.com notes that Trujillo has served four sentences in Colorado prison after convictions for explosives possession, assault, drug possession, and attempted escape, according to court records.
The Denver Post writes:
As is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings, the incident is being investigated by the Jefferson County Critical Incident Response Team, which is made up of investigators from several law enforcement agencies within the county, including members of the district attorney’s office.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues.