COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office says no charges will be filed against a Colorado Springs police officer who fatally shot a man in February. The DA says the officer acted in self-defense.
On February 27 around 3:35 a.m., the Colorado Springs Police Department responded to reports of a robbery at a gas station on the 1000 block of Space Center Drive.
Police says the suspect, later identified as Desmond Hayes, had stolen several beer bottles from the cooler and tried to leave without paying. When confronted by the clerk guarding the door, Hayes claimed he had a gun and shoved past the employee, exiting the building. The clerk later told investigators that he felt what he believed to be a gun in the suspect's pocket.
Security footage from multiple locations shows Hayes walking through the parking lot of a nearby Waffle House and then heading to the Carl's Jr. on 1059 Space Center Drive.
At 3:43 a.m., Hayes approached the personal vehicle of CSPD Officer Lucas Aragon, who was off-duty and at the window for the drive-thru of Carl's Jr.
The DA says Hayes opened the rear passenger door of Officer Aragon and said, “Take me where I want to go or you’ll get hurt,” and, “I have a
gun.” Hayes had his hand in his jacket pocket and was pointing an object that appeared to be a gun aiming at the off-duty officer.
Aragon told investigators that he believed it was a gun and that his best option to live was to shoot Hayes, according to the report. Aragon said he didn't believe that a lesser degree of force was feasible "because his gun was his only weapon, there was a gun pointed at him, and that he could not use a lesser degree of force without being shot by Hayes."
The DA's report states Aragon shot Hayes nine times and got out of his vehicle to reload and call 911. While outside the vehicle, Aragon could see Hayes moving in the back seat and he kept his gun aimed at him while law enforcement arrived. An employee at the window of Carl's Jr. also told investigators that she could see someone moving in the back seat of the vehicle.
Investigators say they found Hayes had several, sealed beer bottles in his jacket pocket, matching those robbed at the gas station. Police found nine 9mm casings inside the car.
Before being shot, police said Hayes was committing Attempted Second-Degree Kidnapping, First-Degree Criminal Trespass and Menacing.
The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office says Aragon acted in self-defense and that deadly force was warranted. No charges will be filed against the off-duty officer.
The DA's report did not state whether Hayes did or did not have a firearm on him when he was shot.