Update: Denver cops say man they killed at funeral home rammed cruisers, injured officer

Categories: News

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The scene outside the Romero Funeral Home yesterday. More photos and a video below.
Update below: Back in March, we told you about a report showing that officer-involved shootings have been on the rise in Denver during recent years -- a trend the Office of the Independent Monitor found troubling.

The numbers serve as backdrop to separate incidents that took place within hours of each other yesterday. In them, Denver police officers shot and killed suspects, with the second gun-down taking place outside a funeral home hosting a viewing the dead man, later ID'd as Ryan Ronquillo, had planned to attend -- a fact that angered mourners who interrupted a press conference to decry DPD actions.

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An image of the first shooting courtesy of 9News.
The first shooting is the least controversial -- at least thus far. Official news of what happened came via this DPD tweet:

Before long, Denver Police Chief Robert White was on the scene to explain the situation to representatives of the media, as documented in this DPD twitpic.

The basics: At around 2:45 p.m. near the aforementioned intersection of Platte River Drive and Florida, officers were taking part in an undercover drug bust reportedly involving cocaine. As the cops moved in to make the arrest, the department maintains that the suspect pulled a handgun, at which point uniformed officers opened fire.

The man was pronounced dead a short time later. Thus far, his name has not been released.

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After the shooting at the Romero Funeral Home, as seen in a 7News image.
Mere hours later, the DPD Twitter feed sent out another note about an officer-involved shooting:

The second shooting took place outside the Romero Funeral Home, where 7News reports that a thus-far-unidentified 21-year-old man arrived for a viewing.

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Another image from outside the Romero Funeral Home.
The man also happened to be wanted on two felony warrants and had a history of car-theft busts. DPD spokesman Commander Matt Murray said officers had followed him into the funeral-home parking lot and a suspicious movement in the car had prompted them to unload their weapons on him.

This act so incensed those attending the viewing that additional officers had to be called to keep the peace.

At a press conference afterward, Murray acknowledged there was no indication the man was actually armed -- and two mourners who interrupted the spokesman's address said a lot more.

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The press conference in which a mourner angrily interrupted DPD spokesman Commander Matt Murray.
"The cops came and killed him at a funeral home!" shouted one man, holding a child. "He's mourning his best friend's loss! You guys rode up and shot him in the parking lot. We were standing out there, and you shot him over there, guys, and our kids were out there, too!"

"Almost ran over a little girl!" interjected a second bystander.

Asked the first man: "Is that how you guys do it now?"

Shootings like these aren't routine, but they're no longer as rare as they once were. Here's a graphic from the aforementioned Independent Monitor's report showing an increase in shootings by the Denver Police Department and Denver Sheriff's Office over the previous five years, from three in 2009 to eleven in 2013:

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In our previous post, we added the following context:
The report argues that all of the 2013 shootings except one fell within departmental standards. But the monitor's office expresses concern "about a possible pattern of deadly force encounters involving individuals who appeared to be in mental-health crisis. By our estimation, five of the nine DPD shootings and one of the two DSD shootings in 2013 involved individuals engaged in erratic behavior that suggested that mental illness may have played a role in their encounter with police."

The monitor's office hasn't made specific recommendations regarding the mental-health issue. Instead, staffers met with Denver Police Chief Robert White to encourage him to investigate and address the topic, and he pledged to do so.

A mental-health episode doesn't seem to be at the heart of the funeral-home incident. But expect questions to be raised about whether officers pulled triggers too quickly.

Update: Moments ago, the Denver Police Department began tweeting information from a news conference with Chief Robert White about yesterday's pair of police shootings. The information about the first incident, which took place during a drug operation, more or less matches details that had emerged previously. However, new info has been provided about the second shooting -- specifically that the suspect, identified by the Denver coroner's office as Ryan Ronquillo, a man with a long rap sheet -- allegedly tried to ram a police vehicle with a stolen car and injured an officer in the process. Here's the tweet string:

Look below to see a 7News video about the two shootings, followed by the Office of the Independent Monitor report.

Office of the Independent Monitor 2013 Annual Report

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa March 13: "Officer-involved shootings up in monitor's report on Denver law enforcers."


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211 comments
muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

This discussion somehow reminds me of Central American right wing death squads.  Extra credit for those that know a connection between the republican party and right wing death squads.

That being said, the last thing some really stupid people do is point a gun at an officer.

clenmer
clenmer

Police abusive and murders are on the rise. The news is filled with killings and violence. http://ow.ly/yPdI5

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Assassin squads.  Death penalties without trial.  What have we become?

Serendipity Gonzales
Serendipity Gonzales

Yes. The shoot first and never ask questions policy has to stop. END POLICE BRUTALITY! Are they all on steroids? Start testing!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The DPD has an extensive "violent criminal history" and "gang affiliation" ... so therefore according to the pig's rationale, it's ok to execute them in cold blood wherever they may be found.



Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

It's already in the works. Cameras have been ordered. Westword covered this earlier this winter/spring if you dig back you'll find it. Chief White (iirc) is all for them.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

Police and soldiers with guns are a huge part of the gun culture problem in the USA.  If politicians want to reduce gun deaths then they should start with law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military...set an example and move to non-lethal methods to diffuse hostile situations (mace, tear gas, rubber bullets, etc).  If law enforcement officers feel it is necessary to carry a gun in order to uphold the law it is only natural that many citizens would feel the same way.  Put down the guns and learn to solve these problems causing as little violence/harm as possible.  It's in everyone's best interest.  You will never achieve peace through repeated acts of violence...

Nando Commando
Nando Commando

are any of these cops in trouble? I didn't read that.

Joseph Giordano
Joseph Giordano

If you wound, they can sue you, which is why you never wound.

Joseph Giordano
Joseph Giordano

Look on the bright side! With our justice system, if you manage to survive the arrest, you will probably serve very little time once you get out of the hospital.

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

I bet everyone would be singing praises if this guy were shot and killed in the act of stealing a car by it's owner. So what if DPD arrived a little late to do their job. Better late than never.

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

Very True. And if you don't go out stealing cars like a piece of shit, warrants won't be issued for your arrest and you won't be put in a situation that might get you killed.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@muhutdafuga


U$A = a nation of sycophantic cowards who beg the Government to abuse them ... for their own safety.

ImAShill
ImAShill

What an idiot you are. This nation locks up more of it's population than any other nation on the planet. This is called a police state, genius. Americans not doing enough 'time' behind bars, huh? What a shill......

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Yeah, because right wing death squads worked out so well in Central America.

ImAShill
ImAShill

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... may your children be executed by trigger-happy cowardly cops for a property crime.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@ImAShill Too bad what you said applies only to the poor.  Bush-lite, Dickless Cheney, the wall street criminals.....these maggots won't be prosecuted.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@muhutdafuga @fishingblues


One of the sad manifestations of those with mental illness is the overpowering need for affirmation.  If you believe anyone posting on these pages gives a shit what you say, you are seriously deranged.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@fishingblues @DonkeyHotay Off topic again.  While inability to understand topicality is common among both the mentally ill (great, another mentally ill right wing gun freak) and the socially damaged, While fishing rainbow is likely emotionally damaged, his recent preoccupations suggest something else:

http://youtu.be/tMIaVBnOhXo

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@muhutdafuga @fishingblues @DonkeyHotay


I don't give a rusty rat's ass if you and the donkey boy are queers.  As to "homophobia",it is simply a made up word by the gay lobby.  NO straight person fears gays nor fears becoming one.  Ignorant bitch.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues ... why would your rat's ass be rusty? ... have you been felching it so much it has become oxidized?



muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@fishingblues @muhutdafuga @DonkeyHotay You are exactly the closeted little freak that the scientists quoted in the U-tube video are talking about.

Thank you for being such a good example of a self loathing cultist. 

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @fishingblues


Oh, except for stinky who is also seriously deranged.  (And he doesn't care either.  He just likes being contrary.)


How is the AIDS infestation treating you stinky? 

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @fishingblues


Dude, you will need to improve your game.  You are becoming as simpleminded as the mutt and, in all honesty, that ain't pretty.


It is not my fault nor societies fault that you contracted AIDS.  Suck it up you little bitch.  Everyone tires of your whining.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues ... so you admit you were wrong, once again, like the simpering shitsucker that you are.


Noted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues


HipTip #1 = you don't speak for everyone, never did and never will, you delusional fucktard.


HipTip #2 = if you're tired of reading my posts, then don't, moron


hth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues "It is not my fault nor societies [sic] fault ..."


Epic Illiterate Retard Fail.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 


As previously discussed, your "notes" to yourself are nothing but delusional rantings (effectively, you talking to yourself) and no one cares.


But keep taking notes you simpleton fuck.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues ... says the illiterate shitsucker who "discusses" things with himself.


LOL!


Keep sucking shit, it's your best skill.

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