AURORA, Colo. - The Arapahoe County coroner has identified a 55-year-old man who was shot and killed by an Aurora police officer after police said the naked man attacked two other officers with a machete and a knife.
Cecil Cochran died Tuesday from severe internal injuries caused by a gunshot to the chest, Arapahoe County Coroner Michael Dobersen said Friday.
The coroner ruled the manner of death was a homicide, which technically means Cochran's death was caused by another person. The police shooting, which is under review, could be deemed justified because one officer fired to defend the lives of the two officers being attacked.
The incident began about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday when family members called 911, requesting medical assistance for a 55-year-old man who was acting strangely at a home in the 1600 block of South Buckley Way.
Aurora Fire Department paramedics arrived and encountered a naked man standing at the top of the stairs leading to the second floor of the home, police said.
The paramedics tried to talk with the man, but he became increasingly agitated, police said.
The man ducked into a room and came out holding what witnesses described as machete, police said. The paramedics retreated from the home and called for police.
Three officers arrived within minutes and entered the home, police said.
At the top of the stairs to the second floor, officers were confronted by the man, who was now holding two large knives, police said.
The man struck two officers with the knives, police said. One officer fired at least one shot, hitting the man, who fell to the ground, police said.
The paramedics were immediately called into the house and rendered aid to the man, police said. The man was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The two officers did not suffer serious injuries.
Neighbors said they knew little about Cochran and his family, who had moved into the home about a month ago.
"They're just quiet," said neighbor Herby Arifin, adding that the family kept their "house blinds always closed, so we don't even know who they are, how many people live there."
Cochran has a criminal history in Colorado during the 1990s and late 1980s, according arrest and court records. This includes convictions for: assault and battery in Aurora in 1987; for DUI in Adams County in 1990, for check fraud in Logan County in 1995 and for possession of drug paraphernalia in Logan County in 1996.
He also had an arrest for felony sexual assault on a child in Aurora in 1989, but the state court system does not show had that arrest was resolved.
As is standard procedure in all officer-involved shootings, the officer who fired on the suspect was placed on administrative leave pending a department review of the incident, police said.