DENVER – The autopsy report of a man who had just shot and killed an intruder before he was shot and killed by an Aurora Police Officer in late July was released Wednesday by the Adams & Broomfield Office of the Coroner.
Richard “Gary” Black Jr., 73, a Bronze Star recipient and Vietnam veteran, was shot and killed by police after he shot and killed 26-year-old Dajon Harper, who broke into his home the morning of July 30.
Family and police both said Harper had broken into the family’s home early that morning and grabbed Black’s step-grandson, who was reportedly being bitten and chocked by Harper.
The 73-year-old man and his stepson, Chad Hayashai, were able to fight Harper off the boy before Black allegedly shot Harper twice in the torso during the struggle, ultimately killing him.
Hayashi said that after Black shot Harper, he turned a corner inside the home and was shot by police, whom Hayashi and the family attorney said shot from outside the home.
The coroner report released Wednesday states that Black’s “auditory canals were free of foreign material” meaning the veteran, who was hard of hearing, was not wearing hearing aids at the time.
The findings seem to support statements given by Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz three days after the shooting, in which he said that Black was shot after failing to hear five commands given to him by the officer who shot and killed him.
The report also shows that Black suffered three gunshot wounds: one in the right arm, one in the lower right chest area and one in the back.
Other findings in the report state Black suffered several injuries during the scuffle with Harper. Among them: two head wounds, back scratches, a cut on his left wrist and multiple fractured ribs.
It also shows that Black was taken to the hospital still alive but was declared deceased before he could be taken in for surgery.
Officer involved in shooting back at work
The officer involved in the shooting is back at work but not on the streets, according to an Aurora Police Department spokesperson.
The District Attorney’s Office is still investigating the case.