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Protesters call attention to police shootings in Colorado Springs

Posted at 3:46 PM, Aug 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-10 18:44:07-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Demonstrators marched through downtown Colorado Springs Saturday in protest of recent police shootings in the community as well as in opposition to gun violence following last weekend's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and in Dayton, Ohio.

Organizers of the march said their goal was to have peaceful demonstration that calls attention to racist gun violence, referring to the El Paso shooter in particular, to police brutality and to the gun violence in the community.

"A lot of the issues that go on have to do with gun violence and the fact that you can walk into a gun shop and get an AK-47 in 10 minutes," said organizer Kalani Lesane.

Five men have died in police shootings in Colorado Springs this year. De'Von Bailey, 19, was shot by officers last Saturday during a foot chase. Investigators with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said at the time that the officers were investigating a personal robbery where two suspects had been identified. When the officers caught up with those suspects, they said one reached into their waistband for a gun. Surveillance video of the shooting shows a man believed to be Bailey running away from officers when he falls to the ground.

Two of the protesters identified themselves as daughters of Joshua Vigil. The 38 year old was shot by officers during a confrontation at the Fountain Garden Apartments on July 23. The young women said their father was shot 17 times.

"There's a difference between shooting to stop and shooting to murder," Lesane said. "Seventeen? That's extremely excessive."

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating both shootings.

A city press release issued Friday announced that police department anticipates releasing the body worn camera footage from the Bailey shooting at the conclusion of the in Sheriff's Office investigation.

Sean Collins, 29, was killed following a stand-off with the Tactical Enforcement Unit on May 18. Investigators said that Collins fired at officers.

Jonathan Patzel, 29, was shot when investigators say he charged at officers with a knife following a stand-off that started over a report of domestic violence. Patzel had an outstanding warrant related an escape charge from the Department of Corrections.

Bill Akes, 58 was shot on January 12 during a struggle with officers in the parking lot of the Elevate Apartments. Akes was said to be armed with a hatchet.