O∞cers won’t face charges
Robbery suspect was shot and killed by two Westminster cops.
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.”