Denver police identify man killed in Friday night officer-involved shooting

The man who was shot to death Friday night by Denver police pointed a gun at officers after he was stopped for speeding about a half mile from Empower Field at Mile High.

William Debose, 21, pointed a handgun at officers as he was running away from them in the  parking lot of the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales public library branch at West Colfax Avenue and Irving Street. An officer fired four shots, striking Debose multiple times, Lt. Matt Clark said during a Monday news conference. Debose was declared dead at a hospital.

Police had spotted Debose driving extremely fast on westbound Interstate 70, near the Interstate 25 interchange, when they began tracking him from the Denver Police Department helicopter. The driver sped onto I-25, exited at Colfax Avenue where officers attempted a traffic stop. The driver sped away.

During the pursuit, the vehicle stopped once on Colfax Avenue and Federal Boulevard where a man got out and was detained without incident by police, Clark said.

The car stopped again at West Colfax Avenue and Irivng Street. After a minute, Debose and a woman got out and began walking away. As police approached, the man ran back toward the car in the library parking lot, and Clark said that’s when he pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband.

The woman avoided police, and detectives are trying to track her down, Clark said. He does not expect to press charges against her.

The officer who shot Debose is a corporal with the department’s gang unit and was hired in 2005. He has not been involved in prior officer-involved shootings, Clark said. The officer was not named.

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