Aurora, Colorado police (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty)
Aurora, Colorado police confirmed that the man killed by police last Friday in an officer involved shooting was, in fact, unarmed, reports CBS4 Denver.
The victim is Naeschylus Vinzant, 37, who police say absconded parole on March 2 by removing his ankle bracelet. Vinzant was also wanted in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident, which included charges of kidnapping, robbery, and assault, according to police investigators.
Police at a Monday press conference said that “members of the SWAT team attempted to take the subject into custody, at which time one shot was fired and the subject was struck one time in the chest.” Vinzant was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
Aurora Police Commander Paul O’Keefe said officers didn’t learn Vinzant was unarmed until after he was shot. No officers were injured in the incident wherein a SWAT team descended upon one man.
The coroner’s officer ruled the death a homicide.
In the very same town in 2012, a white man named James Holmes – who was armed to the teeth – killed 12 people and injured 70 others at an Aurora cineplex and was subsequently arrested outside the theater. Arrested. In the very same town.
P.S. James Holmes is still alive.
The use of deadly force against black men, women, and children seems to be the default response to any perceived threat, according to law enforcement across the country. This has to change.
Police have not released the name of the officer who opened fire. He has retained a lawyer and hasn’t been interviewed by investigators, says CBS4.
The news station also reports that police—including Aurora’s first African-American chief Nicholas Metz –said he is planning meetings with community groups and is hoping to “keep things calm” and hear concerns.