COLORADO SPRINGS — Neighbors in southeast Colorado Springs have gotten little sleep since Saturday night when Colorado Springs Police were involved in a fatal shooting on the 2500 block of East Fountain Blvd.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation. So far, investigators have only said the officers were in the area for a "personal robbery with a weapon" when one of two suspects reached for a firearm at his waistband. At least one officer fired at the suspect, who later died at the hospital.
While authorities have not released the name of the person who died, neighbors say that man was 19-year-old Devon Bailey.
"[He] was a good kid growing up, he loved his sports," said his uncle, Quaay Bailey. "He loved his brothers and sisters. He really cared about his family." His close friends are devastated.
Elizabeth Powell says she was an eyewitness who posted on Facebook about seven shots being fired.
"We people man. Help us out. We're hurting man," his friend "Caston" said through tears. "That's my friend, man. And they shot him seven times."
When we asked police, they were unable to confirm.
"There have been community members saying someone was shot in the back at least seven times. How do you respond to that?" I asked.
"I certainly couldn't make comments about something that's floating around on social media," responded Lieutenant James Sokolik, a spokesperson for Colorado Springs Police Department.
But they did say when officers made contact with the suspect, whom they haven't identified, he tried to draw a weapon.
"One of them reached for a firearm in the waistband," Sokolik said. "At least one of the officers involved did fire. The suspect was struck at least one time."
Though Powell says she saw something else.
"The officer I had my eye on shot at least seven times straight into [Bailey's] back," she said. "And I don't know how many times he was actually hit but he fired off at least seven times. I still didn't see a weapon."
Sunday afternoon, tensions ran high as officers came back to do some crowd control.
Tensions are high @ the scene of last night’s officer-involved shooting on Preuss Rd. Neighbors created a memorial where they say a 19 yo man was shot by an officer. EPCSO confirmed the suspect of an armed robbery was shot and later died. They have not ID’d the suspect yet. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/C2Hmy2OkAS— Jessica Barreto (@BarretoReports) August 4, 2019
This community is evidently still working on healing, and finding answers as the investigation continues.
"We gotta comfort his family," Quaay emphasized. "We gotta come together as a community."
But neighbors will be gathering at Adams Park at 6:30 p.m. Sunday night to hold a vigil for Devon Bailey, who they say was supposed to be turning 20 in a couple of weeks on August 18.
Under Colorado law, officer-involved shootings are not investigated by the agency involved in the incident. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigative agency in this case, taking over collection of evidence, interviews and presenting information to the District Attorney's Office for review. The process normally takes several months.