LAKEWOOD — A homicide suspect died after an officer-involved shooting near the Colorado Mills mall in Lakewood early Thursday morning.
Both the Lakewood Police Department and Denver Police Department, as well as the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Colorado State Patrol, responded to the incident, which happened in the early hours on Thursday.
Around 3:45 a.m., the Denver Police Department notified the Lakewood Police Department that they were following a male homicide suspect in Lakewood, said Lakewood Police Public Information Officer Rob Albrets.
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said Denver officers were investigating a recent homicide along the 4700 block of Pearl Street in Denver and when they located a vehicle and the suspect, a pursuit began that led them into Lakewood.
Shortly after 4:10 a.m., the suspect and a Denver patrol car crashed in the intersection of Denver West Colorado Mills Parkway and Cole Boulevard, Albrets said. Pazen said it was a forced-stop maneuver. The suspect then ran away.
According to the preliminary investigation, a few minutes after the crash, as officers pursued the suspect, he opened fire at them, Pazen said. Denver officers returned fire.
Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said a Jefferson County deputy was also involved in the shooting, though he did not specify how.
No officers were injured. The suspect was transported to the hospital, where he died. Authorities did not release any additional information about the individual.
"We are confident that this is the individual that we were looking for in regards to this violent situation," Pazen said.
Pazen said they are not searching for any additional suspects.
Albrets said the Lakewood Police Department will investigate the crash between the suspect vehicle and the Denver police patrol car. Pazen said all officers involved in the crash are OK.
Drivers are asked to avoid the area. Denver West Colorado Mills Parkway is closed from W. Colfax Avenue northwest over I-70. Pazen said he expects the road to stay closed for several hours.
The Jefferson County Critical Response Team will investigate the shooting. This is the second officer-involved shooting involving Denver officers this week. On Monday morning, officers were involved in shooting in the area of 10th Avenue and Lincoln Street. The suspect died.
"It's a situation where we have individuals that probably shouldn't have firearms and it puts our officers and our community in a very dangerous situation," Pazen said. "The fact that we've had two in a week is definitely something that raises our concern."
However, he said he is proud of his officers and the officers from Jefferson County and other agencies for their work keeping communities safe.
"It takes brave women and men to do this job — to confront individuals who are firing at them and who are armed," Pazen said. "Yet again, our officers demonstrated extreme courage."