COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has ruled in favor of Officer Pierre Gutierrez, and the use of lethal force in a shooting that occurred in March of 2023.
As previously reported, Officer Gutierrez was responsible for shooting Jose Aponte. On March 12, 2023, the Colorado Springs Police Department Communications Center received word that Aponte was in violation of a protection order between him and his girlfriend. Later that evening, officers determined four warrants were out for Aponte's arrest, including a failure to appear for a felony DUI.
Around 11:50 p.m. officers arrived to arrest Aponte at a residence on Foote Avenue, where Aponte's girlfriend told officers that he was located at his mother's house near the Evergreen Cemetery. Upon an initial search of the house, officers said they were not able to identify where Aponte was located or if he was at the house.
A drone unit was called to the scene to search the house's attic. Due to the nature of the space, the drone was unable to operate inside the building. According to the district attorney's office report, Officer Pierre Gutierrez, who was now on the scene, noticed a crawl space. Upon another investigation of the building, where he entered and proceeded to find Aponte located in the confined crawl space of the house.
In body camera video released after the incident, upon locating Aponte, Officer Gutierrez is heard instructing Aponte to show his hands. According to the district attorney's office, Aponte refused these commands and proceeded to hide behind a black plastic trash bag. According to the district attorney's office, Aponte told officers that since they had shot his dog, they would have to shoot him, and that he would "show them his hand" in a sarcastic tone indicating he could be armed to officers.
The report states that animal Law Enforcement Officers initially responded to the property at Foote Avenue a day earlier to serve a warrant on a dangerous animal. During that response, Colorado Springs Officer Kentrell Jacobs was bitten by the dog. Officer Jacobs then shot the dog, and it was removed from the property.
Officer Gutierrez repeated to Aponte that he did not want to shoot him, and that he wanted to see Aponte's hands. Officer Gutierrez states it was at this point that Aponte grabbed a chrome object that looked like a handgun, according to the officer. A stun gun was deployed on Aponte, but was unsuccessful as it hit the trash bag. It was at this point that a stand-off between the officer and Aponte occurred. The district attorney's office says Officer Gutierrez gave nineteen commands to Aponte to show his hands.
Following the stand-off, Officer Gutierrez states that Aponte dropped the trash bag, and raised the chrome object, later identified as a metal flashlight, above his head. It was at this point that Officer Gutierrez shot Aponte three times. Following the shooting, officers removed Aponte from the crawl space and began to administer aid before Aponte was taken to the hospital and was expected to recover from his injuries.
You can see the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office full release here.
Editors Note: The article has been changed to reflect that Jose Aponte is alive and was not killed as a result of this shooting.
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