O∞cers won’t face charges

Rob­bery sus­pect was shot and killed by two West­min­ster cops.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul Jesse Paul: 303-954-1733, jpaul@den­ver­post.com or @JesseAPaul

Santino Martinez holds the new Tonka truck that he re­ceived Fri­day at the 86th an­nual Den­ver Santa Claus Shop at the for­mer Kmart store near East Evans Av­enue and South Monaco Park­way. The shop, whose mis­sion is to pro­vide “a toy for ev­ery girl and boy,” serves more than 13,000 un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren ages 11 and un­der in the Den­ver area. The shop, which will be open through Mon­day for fam­i­lies in­vited by re­fer­ral from so­cial ser­vice groups, schools and churches, is a non­profit, non­de­nom­i­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion. Do­na­tions can be made at den­ver­san­ta­clausshop.org.

Andy Cross, The Den­ver Post

Two West­min­ster po­lice of­fi­cers who shot and killed an armed rob­bery sus­pect in Septem­ber will not face charges in the con­fronta­tion, pros­e­cu­tors an­nounced Fri­day, say­ing the pair used a rea­son­able amount of force in sub­du­ing the man.

Thomas Tucker Jr., a 49year-old from Den­ver, was shot six times as he ad­vanced on one of the of­fi­cers while hold­ing a large knife, ac­cord­ing to a re­port is­sued by 17th Ju­di­cial Dis­trict At­tor­ney Dave Young.

“Based on the ev­i­dence pre­sented and the ap­pli­ca­ble Colorado law, there is no rea­son­able like­li­hood of success of prov­ing that the in­volved of­fi­cers com­mit­ted any crimes be­yond a rea­son­able doubt at trial,” Young wrote. “There­fore, no crim­i­nal charges will be filed.”

Tucker was shot Sept. 20 af­ter a short ve­hi­cle chase fol­low­ing an armed rob­bery on the 12100 block of Ban­nock Street, where a res­i­dent had come home to find peo­ple in his garage load­ing items into a sil­ver Chevro­let Mal­ibu. Tucker was pro­nounced dead at the scene.

Au­thor­i­ties say Tucker was rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle as he fled the scene, lead­ing of­fi­cers on a pur­suit be­fore ditch­ing the bike and run­ning off through an apart­ment com­plex near the in­ter­sec­tion of West 121st Av­enue and Huron Street. Young’s let­ter says West­min­ster po­lice Of­fi­cer Damian Perez fol­lowed Tucker while yelling at him to stop.

Tucker, while flee­ing on foot, dropped a hand­gun be­fore pro­duc­ing a large knife and fac­ing Perez in a “fight­ing stance,” the re­port says. Perez said he fired at Tucker be­fore trip­ping and fall­ing back­ward, at which point he fired sev­eral more times.

Perez fired eight to­tal rounds, crime scene in­ves­ti­ga­tors determined.

“Of­fi­cer Perez be­lieved that if he had not fired his ser­vice weapon, that the sus­pect would have stabbed or killed him,” Young’s re­port said.

Of­fi­cer An­thony Stroup also fired at Tucker, say­ing “the sus­pect’s ac­tions forced him to shoot his weapon.” In­ves­ti­ga­tors found he fired four rounds.

“The amount of force used was rea­son­able, be­cause Mr. Tucker was armed with a large knife, was in close prox­im­ity of Of­fi­cer Perez, and ap­peared to ad­vance on Of­fi­cer Perez,” Young wrote. “Both of­fi­cers state that they fired their weapons be­cause Mr. Tucker threat­ened Of­fi­cer Perez with a knife. As such, there is no ba­sis for which to con­clude a lesser de­gree of force was nec­es­sary.”

Young added: “Mr. Tucker’s ac­tions and be­hav­ior dic­tated the of­fi­cers’ re­sponse of fir­ing their weapons.”

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