DENVER - Denver's District Attorney has determined that a police officer's shooting of an armed suicidal suspect last month was justified.
The shooting happened at about 10 a.m. on Nov. 8, on the grounds of the Cypress Point Apartments, at 1211 S. Quebec Way. Officers had been called to the area about an hour earlier, when Jamie Lynn Strickland made a 911 call.
District Attorney Mitch Morrissey's summarized the case in a letter to Denver Police Chief Robert White that announced his decision that the shooting was justified. That letter quotes what Strickland said to the 911 call taker.
"I have violated my probation -- been shooting meth for days. My name is Jamie Lynn Strickland. I have a butcher knife and I want police to come and shoot me," the quotation begins.
The next two sentences include several expletives and threats in which Strickland demands to be shot.
The quotation ends with, "I want to die."
Officers tried to talk Strickland down in his apartment, the DA wrote. Ultimately, when the officers entered, they were attacked with the knife. One officer shot Strickland with a rubber bullet and was able to retreat, but that did not cause him to drop the knife, police said.
When officers made entry again, Strickland began to struggle with a lieutenant, and Officer Dan McIntosh fired two shots. One hit Strickland in the chest.
"I was in fear for their lives," McIntosh told the DA's investigators.
The lieutenant told the DA the entire struggle lasted just five seconds.
Morrissey concludes, "The investigation indicates that Strickland was a deadly threat to Lt. Gavito and was attacking him with the knife at the time Officer McIntosh fired the shots. The use of physical force by Officer McIntosh was legally justified."
Strickland was treated at Denver Health Medical Center and survived the shooting.