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Denver police release video of two police shootings on June 7

Denver police on Wednesday released video footage of the two separate incidents on the same day last week in which officers were shot and injured.

Both officers were fired upon by suspects and both officers returned fire, officials said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon at Denver Police Department headquarters.

Police Chief Ron Thomas, who has been with the department for 34 years, said he couldn’t recall two officers being shot separately on the same day.

“The challenge we face here in Denver is there are too many guns out in our community and we have individuals who feel emboldened to use them,” Thomas said. “It’s a challenge.”

Both officers likely survived, in part, because of the protective bulletproof vests they wore. Although not required by the department, “vests are strongly encouraged” and the vast majority of officers wear them, Thomas said.

Both videos — one from a surveillance camera, the other from an officer’s body-worn camera — show police exchanging gunfire with suspects.

Shooting outside Quality Inn

The shootings happened on June 7, the first about 4 a.m. outside the front door of a Quality Inn, near the intersection of Speer Boulevard and North Zuni Street, where an officer sitting in a marked patrol vehicle was ambushed by a man who fired multiple shots.

The video shows the suspect, identified Wednesday as Nicholas Lendrum, 35, walk in front of the patrol vehicle and enter the hotel. A short time later, he exits and fires at the officer through the front passenger-side window.

The patrol officer, a corporal in District 6, drops in the seat and falls out of the driver’s side door, the video shows. The officer was shot three times, once in his front torso and twice in the back, Major Crimes Division Cmdr. Matt Clark said at the Wednesday news conference.

As seen on video, Lendrum walks around the front of the patrol vehicle as the officer returns fire. The officer then scrambles to the passenger side of the patrol vehicle to use it as cover, and continues to fire.

When the gunfire stops, the officer speaks into his radio microphone.

“Shots fired, I’m hit,” he says. “I have my eye on the suspect. He’s down, I don’t see him moving. The suspect is down, start an ambulance.”

Lendrum and the officer, who was not identified Wednesday, were taken to Denver Health Medical Center, where Lendrum died. The officer, because of his vest, suffered bruises. He was treated and released.

Lendrum fired a Glock-brand 9 mm handgun 18 times at the officer, police said. Lendrum also was armed with a revolver, which was not fired. The officer, who has been with the department since 2013, fired 17 rounds at Lendrum. The officer has not been involved in any prior police shootings, Clark said.

On Wednesday, police said they don’t know why Lendrum, a Colorado resident, ambushed the officer. An investigation is ongoing.

MLK Boulevard/Forest Street shooting

The second shooting occurred in northeast Denver in the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Forest Street, police said.

At about 7:30 p.m., a ShotSpotter alert for suspected shots fired was dispatched for the area of MLK Boulevard and Cherry Street, police said.

Two police officers, with District 2, responded to the scene about two minutes later. A person matching a suspect description was found at 7:33 p.m. and fled on a scooter, Clark said, while police pursued in a patrol vehicle. The pursuit later became a foot chase, ending at MLK and Forest.

The video shows an officer chasing the juvenile suspect, grasping his handgun in both hands and yelling profanity-laced commands. Clark said the juvenile fired “at least once at the officer” before the officer returned fire.

Video shows the officer fire a burst of successive shots and the juvenile drops to the ground. It is not clear in the video when the juvenile fired.

The officer, who also wasn’t identified, was hit by a round in the magazine of his duty belt, Clark said. He was bruised, taken to a hospital and treated and released. The officer has been with the department since 2017. He was involved in a prior police shooting in 2019.

“I’ve been shot,” the officer says as his partner puts handcuffs on the juvenile. The juvenile, who survived the shooting, is being held at the Gilliam Youth Services Center, Clark said.

The juvenile was armed with a Taurus 9mm handgun with a drum magazine that can hold 50 rounds of ammunition, police said. It was recovered at the scene and is evidence in the case.

The Zuni Street shooting video is surveillance footage from the hotel, which has no audio, with radio communications added to the clip, police said.

The MLK Boulevard video is from the body-worn camera of the “involved officer,” police said.

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