NORTHGLENN, Colo. – The family of a man who was shot and killed by Northglenn police is questioning the official version of what happened.
Last week, police said in a news release that the suspect, later identified as Hector Navarrete, was involved in an attempted kidnapping, and that he rammed a patrol car.
But Navarrete’s girlfriend told Denver7 that there was no kidnapping, nor an attempt to kidnap her.
The girlfriend declined to go on camera.
Family members held a candlelight vigil Saturday night in the same parking lot where the shooting took place. Navarrete’s brother-in-law, Felipe Cordova, said they want to know what really happened. He told Denver7 that Navarrete had an argument with his girlfriend and grabbed her arm.
“When she went back into her mother’s house, Hector stood outside honking his horn, until police arrived,” he said.
That’s when Navarrete apparently took off in a rental car that had never been returned.
“He had issues,” Cordova said. “I’m not making excuses, but did he have to be shot?”
Cordova said he looked at news clips to see how much damage there was to the car.
When asked about the police department’s claim that Navarrete rammed a patrol car, Cordova said, “From what I heard from one of the witnesses, it was a sideswipe... that’s why I’m questioning what really happened. Did he really try to ram the police, or is this just something they’re saying to justify killing him? I want to know.”
Cordova said Navarrete was involved in drugs and had been incarcerated before, but he says the young father, who had a 6-year-old son, was trying to turn his life around.
“He told me, ‘My goal is to get out of this. I want my son back. I want my family back. I want my life back the way it was.’ And we told him, ‘We’re here to help you.’ And that day, he never came back. We sat here waiting and waiting for him and to this day, we look in the driveway to see if he’s there and he’s not coming,” Cordova said.
Police are not commenting about the case.
The officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the 17th Judicial District’s Critical Incident Team.
Denver7 has reached out to the District Attorney’s office, but has not yet heard back.