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No charges filed in Colorado Springs officer-involved shooting from July

Posted at 12:16 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 07:29:50-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced Monday that no charges are being filed in July's officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of 38-year-old Joshua Vigil.

Officers Jones, Aragon and Keller, who were involved in the shooting, will have no charges filed against them after an investigation conducted by a Deadly Force Investigations Team. Shortly after, the Colorado Springs Police Department released body camera footage of the incident.

Officers were called to an apartment complex in the 2200 block of Monterey Road at 5:51 p.m. July 23 after a report that a suspicious man was walking in the area with a gun. The DA's Office said when officers arrived, they saw Vigil arguing with three woman who were later identified as his daughters and estranged wife.

Documents state that Vigil entered and exited a red Mustang multiple times while holding a gun in his right hand. Officers asked him to drop the weapon, but Vigil told officers he was not going to drop the gun, according to the DA's Office. He then went back into the car and exited with a second gun, holding it by the barrel.

The DA's Office said Vigil continued to not follow officers' commands when he got into the vehicle, threw a bottle of Crown Royal out of the driver's side window, and sped away from the scene. Officers did not follow him, but a short time later three officers found Vigil in the 3100 block of East Fountain.

Officers received statements from the three women who described Vigil as being "under the influence and unpredictable," according to documents. They learned that Vigil had threatened them with a gun, which the responding officers knew about before arriving to the apartment complex.

Police found Vigil at 6:12 p.m. walking east on Fountain Boulevard after they spotted a red Mustang had crashed into a cement barrier. The DA's Office said a witness told them Vigil then jumped a fence and was in a locked courtyard of a senior living apartment complex.

Before police saw him, documents state Vigil was threatening residents, including children, with his gun.

The DA's Office said Vigil then entered "an all-glass foyer the leads to the lobby of the apartments." He was pacing back and forth with the gun in his right hand when the three responding Officers Jones, Aragon and Keller arrived.

Jones and Aragon gave commands to Vigil to put his hands up and when he didn't, Vigil continued pacing. At one point, Aragon said he saw the suspect rotate his body and hand "as if to either fire at, or take cover from, officers." It's tough to see that happen on video, but it was validated by a separate witness.

It was then that he fired the first shots after he said he felt safety risks for himself, other officers and nearby residents. Jones fired next and Keller fired after saying he saw smoke "and muzzle flash" from Vigil's weapon.

Vigil was taken to the hospital where he died from his injures. The officers involved were not injured and were placed on administrative leave, according to CSPD policy.

The DA's Office said there were seven casings tested from the inside of the foyer that matched Vigil's weapon. Eighteen casings were tested and matched to the officers' weapons outside of the foyer. An autopsy report released in September revealed Vigil had been struck 20 times by gunfire.

In the documents released by the DA's Office, it is stated Vigil's toxicology results showed he was under the influence of narcotics and other drugs, including amphetamine, cocaine/benzoylecgonine, methamphetamine, thc-cooh, hydrozychloroquine, carmazapine, and alcohol at the time of the shooting.

Before the shooting occurred, Aragon had made a statement recorded by his body camera when he heard of an unrelated domestic violence situation over the radio while sitting in the patrol car. The documents said he told another officer, "Let's just go help, so if we can shoot this dude."

They were en-route to that call when they were rerouted to the senior living apartment complex. Aragorn said in a later interview that he was referring to the first call and that he never planned to shoot him, according to the DA's Office.

The DA's Office said they found Aragon's statement "troubling," but Vigil's behavior put officers in a situation where they believed their safety or residents' safety was in danger.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski released a statement saying: “I am disappointed in the District Attorney’s decision to include information that was irrelevant to the incident involving Mr. Vigil. While Officer Aragon’s comment was inappropriate, the District Attorney added unnecessary confusion by implying it was related to the officer involved shooting. While this in no way justifies or excuses Officer’s Aragon’s comment, we want to make sure the facts are brought forth in a clear and transparent manner, as the public deserves a complete picture with full context.”


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