AURORA | Police aren’t saying whether a man shot by an Aurora police officer Saturday afternoon was armed.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz said the investigation into the April 1 shooting of Michael Adrian Torres, 24, was “very fluid” and ongoing.
Metz declined to say whether officers saw a weapon as Torres, who was wanted on an aggravated car theft charge in Denver, drove away from police after they tried to arrest him near East Colfax Avenue and Sable Boulevard.
Metz said the officer who shot Torres, a 13-year-veteran who has never been involved in a shooting before, was one of several from specialized fugitive teams trying to arrest Torres, but was the only one who fired. Other officers fired less-lethal foam bullets at the car, Metz said.
Torres remains hospitalized, but police declined to comment on his condition.
The department has a policy that restricts when officers can fire at moving vehicles. Metz said all aspects of the incident, including the officer’s decision to fire at a moving car, will be reviewed and the case will be handed over to prosecutors.
Police said in a prior statement that officers from the department’s Fugitive Apprehension and Surveillance Team, Strategic Response and Tactics Unit and Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force were surveilling the subject April 1 on suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft in Denver. The officers believed he was armed and dangerous, police said.
When officers tried to arrest the suspect, he fled in a vehicle, which ended up in a ditch, police said. At some point an officer shot him.
“The officers rendered aid to the suspect, who was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries,” police said in a statement.
A juvenile female passenger in the vehicle was unharmed, police said.
The officer who shot the suspect has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation per department policy when officers fire their weapon while on duty, police said.
The department’s Major Crimes/Homicide Unit in conjunction with Denver police are handling the investigation.
Police are asking anyone who might have witnessed this incident to call Detective Michael Prince 303-739-6127.