The Aurora police officer who shot and killed an armed homeowner early Monday morning was involved in another deadly shooting in late June.
The officer was returned to regular duty while the investigation of whether he was legally justified in using deadly force in the June incident was still ongoing.
While that’s not routine, officers can be put back on the job even though an investigation into a shooting is not complete and guidelines for doing that vary from one department to another.
In this week’s incident, police received multiple 911 calls just before 1:30 a.m. Monday reporting a disturbance. Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz, in a written release, said officers encountered “a very chaotic and violent scene,” heard gunfire inside a home at 10609 E. Montview Blvd. and then “encountered an armed adult male.”
An officer opened fire, hitting and killing the man, who has been identified as Richard "Gary" Black, a 73-year old Army veteran who served in Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
When police entered Black’s home, they discovered a “deceased adult male intruder” inside.
According to the attorney representing Black’s family, the man never should have been shot by a police officer. He says an intruder broke into the Montview Boulevard home and grabbed Black’s 11-year-old grandson, who was sleeping on a couch, and dragged him to a bathroom, where he attacked him. Black and the boy’s father tried to pull the attacker off the child, but after a struggle Black grabbed his gun and shot and killed the man.
Moments later, the Aurora officer shot and killed Black.
Among those who called 911 was Jeanette Black, and she gave dispatchers a very specific description of her husband and what he was wearing. The family’s attorney says evidence suggests that while Black was inside his home the officer who shot him was outside, although he said he wants to see body camera footage so he can better understand exactly what happened.
In the June shooting, Officers were called to the 8900 block of East Colfax Avenue around 12:30 a.m. June 27th, on a report of shots fired. According to Aurora police, officers searching the area encountered a man who matched the description of the suspect, and he fled on foot through a parking lot.
According to police, the man had a gun and ignored multiple orders to drop it before an officer shot him.
At that point, the man ran around a blind corner, stopped and was waiting for the officers, according to police. Officers again ordered him to drop the gun, then fired more shots, according to police.
The man was rushed to a hospital, where he later died.