Apr 22, 2011 6:18 PM by Matt Stafford

Man shot and killed by Springs Police

A Colorado Springs police officer is on routine paid administrative leave after shooting and killing a man Friday morning. It happened in the backyard home on Auburn Drive, near Constitution Ave. and North Chelton Road.

Neighbors who spoke to News First 5 say they heard the gun shots Friday morning, just before 8 a.m., but they say they sounded like a jackhammer. Neighbors called police around 7:45 a.m. saying they were hearing gunshots.

"When they (police) got here, they continued to hear the shots being fired," says Sgt Steve Noblitt, with C.S.P.D. He says they heard the shots coming from a backyard in 1700 block of Auburn Drive.

When police entered the backyard, they found a man with a handgun. They say he pointed the gun at a nearby home. However, police aren't saying specifically what happened between then and when the officer fired.

"At one point the officer perceived a threat, engaged the suspect, fired his weapon at the suspect, and the suspect... was shot," explains Sgt. Noblitt.

Police aren't sure how many shots the suspect fired, but they say the Springs police officer fired just one shot -- hitting the man in the torso. He was transported to a local hospital but eventually died.

One shot from the Springs police officer to the man's torso sent him to the hospital, where he eventually died. No word yet on the man's identity, pending the notification of family members.

All the activity caught neighbors off guard.

"It's right across from our house, so it's definitely pretty scary," says neighbor Alisa Wells. Wells and her son Isaiah we're about to run errands when they saw all of the commotion. It makes her nervous, especially as her son is getting old enough to wander farther from home.

"Makes you want to keep your kids in the house all the time," says Wells. Knowing that's probably not possible, she'll probably just keep a close eye on her son.

Police will be studying the scene, trying to figure out more about what happened and why the man was shooting. The homicide unit and the District Attorney's office are working on the case.

"Officers hope to go through their whole career without having to be involved in this type of activity," Sgt. Noblitt says, but he adds that they do happen. "We do train for it and we are prepared to take this kind of action to protect the public."

Springs police haven't released the name of the officer who shot the man. The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.


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