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Denver police say suspect in officer-involved shooting was armed with long knife

Posted at 4:16 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 18:36:07-04

DENVER, Colo. — The Denver Police Department provided an update Tuesday after an officer shot a man who was running at him with a machete Saturday.

The department said Heber Gonzalez, 30, is in critical condition with potentially life threatening injuries.

In a 911 call made Saturday just after 1:30 p.m., the caller reported seeing a man near Russell Square Park waving a large knife. An officer arrived within minutes and saw the man described holding a knife with a nearly 11-inch blade. According to the department, Gonzalez charged towards the officer with the knife still in his hand. The officer made commands for Gonzalez to drop the knife and when he continued advancing, the officer fired seven rounds.

The department said the officer stopped firing after Gonzalez fell to the ground and dropped the knife. He rendered aid to Gonzalez until the ambulance arrived.

One of the seven rounds hit a parked car with a woman in the passenger seat and child in the backseat. No one was sitting in the driver's side where the bullet lodged in the steering column.

Gonzalez is facing charges of first-degree assault of a peace officer, felony menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

The officer was wearing a body camera that captured the incident. The officer has been with the department since 2018 and has not been involved in any prior officer involved shootings. The officer is currently not on patrol and serving in a modified duty status with the department. The investigation is ongoing.

There have been 10 shootings involving officers with the Denver Police Department in 2020. There were 11 in 2019.