AURORA – Aurora’s police chief addressed the public Thursday afternoon, after meeting privately with the family of a man who was shot and killed by an officer in a chaotic confrontation earlier this week.
Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz met with the family of Richard “Gary” Black Jr., 73, who was killed moments after shooting and killing an intruder who was attacking his 11-year-old grandson. Metz said the department is heartbroken over the incident.
He also said he would not release the body camera footage of the incident right now– adding that at some point he does support making it public. The department is also not releasing a recording of a 911 call in the incident.
About 10 members of Black’s family were at the meeting today and were allowed to watch the footage and listen to the 911 call.
The news conference came after several days of public criticism aimed at the Aurora Police Department.
The news conference provided a clear timeline of the events that transpired early Monday morning at the home in the 10600 block of E. Montview Blvd. The incident began with several 911 calls reporting a disturbance in the area of E. Montview and Iola Street.
The suspect, identified as Dajon Harper, 26, apparently broke into the home and dragged Black’s 11-year-old grandson into a bathroom where he began attacking him. An attorney for Black’s family said the boy’s father and Black tried to intervene, but eventually Black grabbed his handgun and killed the intruder.
When officers arrived on scene, they heard gunshots and encountered an armed man, a confrontation ensued and Black was shot and killed by one of those officers.
Black was an Army veteran who earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star in Vietnam.
“There’s no doubt in our mind and certainly there’s no dispute in any way shape or form that Mr. Black saved his family that night,” Metz said at today’s news conference.
Harper is a known gang member who had a lengthy criminal record dating back to when he was 14 years old.
Police are not releasing the name of the officer involved in the incident citing threats made to his life. The officer was involved in another use of deadly force incident in June and had been returned to regular duty.