Police attempt less than lethal force, then kill man with knife near 29th and Downing in Denver

Witness: Man said, "Do you want to die?"

DENVER - A man is dead after being shot by a Denver Police officer on Tuesday morning.

Officers were called to 29th Avenue and Downing Street on reports of a man in the middle of Downing chasing cars, according to police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

Jackson said officers contacted the man, who was "very uncooperative" and was holding a knife.

A witness said the man threatened him and other people with the knife.

"As I'm crossing the street, an older gentleman runs at me with a knife in his hand saying, 'Do you want to die? I'm going to kill you,'" Santiago Martinez. told 7NEWS.

"I'm backing up going, 'Whoa,'" Martinez said. "Another guy in a Jeep sees that and he gets out of his car and then the guy goes after him."

Martinez and the other man called 911, and then saw the man with the knife run toward a woman crossing the street.

"She got startled and scared. She took off, so me and the guy ran after him," said Martinez. "That's when he turned around and seen us come after him. So he stopped and put the knife out again. He was just saying a bunch of weird remarks and just yelling and stuff."

Police arrived at 29th Avenue and Downing and ordered the man to put down the knife, according to witnesses and the police chief.

"He was running at the cop with the knife in his hand," said Martinez.

"We attempted less than lethal weapons," said Police Chief Robert White.

"Shot him a couple of times with the pellet gun and then he didn't go down. They got him with the Taser gun and he still didn't go down, and then finally you hear three to four shots and that was it," said Martinez.

The man was taken to Denver Health in critical condition, but he did not survive. He was identified Wednesday as Jack Snyder, 63, by the Office of the Medical Examiner.

"I feel kind of bad because we didn't take him down," Martinez said of himself and the other man chasing the knife-wielding man. "If we had taken him down, then maybe he wouldn't have got shot."

No officers were hurt.

Police would not reveal how many officers fired their weapons or how many shots were fired.

The Denver District Attorney's Office will review the incident.

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