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Fake hostage situation led to Denver police's concern for woman's life and police shooting, DPD says

Hostage situation that led to officer shooting suspect was staged: Police
Posted at 5:19 PM, Sep 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-02 00:51:29-04

DENVER — A string of connected crimes, including an alleged road rage shooting, kidnapping, second shooting, crash, police shooting and fake hostage situation led to six arrests in Denver last week.

Two of the arrests were in connection with the crimes from that day while the other four were unrelated arrest warrants and a parole violation.

What initially started as a road rage shooting on Interstate 25 would eventually lead police on a chase, which ended with a vehicle crash. A suspect appeared to drag a woman out of the disabled vehicle in a hostage situation, leading police to believe her life was in danger and shoot the suspect. Police would later learn the hostage scenario was planned.

Matt Clark, commander of the Denver Police Department's Major Crimes Division, provided specific details about what happened on the evening of Aug. 25, prefacing the timeline by explaining that “this is a complex case that involves multiple incidents, individuals and locations.”

He said it all started around 5:30 p.m., when a driver called to report that he had been traveling northbound on I-25 between 6th Avenue and Colfax Avenue when a driver began tailgating him, so he moved to another lane. The driver of the other vehicle pulled alongside him and fired a gun at the man's car, shattering the rear passenger window. Nobody was injured in this incident, Clark said.

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The victim driver called 911 and followed the suspect along northbound I-25, despite dispatch telling him to pull over and wait for officers. The man eventually lost sight of the suspect vehicle around E. 45th Ave and Josephine Street, Clark said.

This suspect driver was later identified as Julio Cesar Solomon Madera, 33.

Denver police responded to the area to look for the suspect vehicle, and ended up finding it unoccupied next to a residence along the 4700 block of Josephine Street. Officers noticed that people inside the residence were peeking around the blinds, but they refused to answer the door, Clark said.

At 6:45 p.m., a tow truck arrived to impound the vehicle.

The uniformed officers left the area, however undercover officers in unmarked vehicles monitored the home to see if the road rage suspect was inside.

Around 11 p.m., an undercover officer saw a red truck — with a male driver and female passenger — pull up to the residence and two people — another male and female — left the home and got into the truck, Clark said. The driver then headed southbound on Josephine Street.

Uniformed officers attempted to stop the driver, but he accelerated around police vehicles, hitting a marked DPD vehicle and a tree before turning westbound on E. 47th Avenue and then southbound on York Street.

Clark said they would later learn that the male passenger, who was ultimately identified as Keith Michael Mosley, 35, had spotted police following the car and pulled a firearm on the driver of the truck, demanding he keep going, Clark said.

“Seconds later, officers heard multiple gunshots being fired at them from the truck," Clark said. "Officers pursued the vehicle with their emergency equipment activated for approximately one minute and 20 seconds. During that time, the driver made no effort to stop.”

Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas explained later that officers decided to continue the chase because it was late at night and there was no pedestrian or vehicle traffic in the area.

Warning: This video shows unedited body-worn camera footage and includes graphic images that could be disturbing to some viewers.

Unedited body cam video | Hostage situation that led to officer shooting suspect was staged: Police

Around the intersection of W. 36th Avenue and York Street, an officer used a patrol vehicle to stop the suspect vehicle, which rolled onto the driver's side and came to a stop along the 3500 block of York Street in a position where officers couldn't clearly see the people inside.

“Officers also reported hearing what they believe was a gunshot from the passenger compartment of the vehicle," Clark said. "Over the next 15 minutes, officers attempted to communicate with the occupants of the vehicle to gain compliance and render aid related to the vehicle collision.”

What officers didn't know at the time was that Mosley and the woman who had been picked up at the house were creating a plan to stage a hostage situation because "they have a relationship together and it was her intention to try and help him avoid apprehension," Clark said.

"Specifically, the plan was that the male would present the female as a hostage that he was holding at gunpoint as he moved away from officers," Clark said. "The female hostage later confirmed this information during a conversation with investigators, explaining she was a willing participant in the plan.”

After those 15 minutes following the crash, somebody kicked out the front windshield and officers heard a man yelling that he had a hostage and would kill the woman. Mosley, holding the crying woman between himself and officers, stepped out of the car through the broken windshield, Clark said.

“The suspect appeared to be controlling her movement and using her as a human shield," Clark said. "The male yelled at officers not to move and directed them to back up. The female was heard saying he has a gun. The male pulled the female with him as he walked backwards away from the officers. He held one hand behind her head as if he was holding a gun to her head while maintaining control of her neck with his other hand.”

Mosley took the woman near a fence along the south side of a home on the 3500 block of York Street as the officers stayed on the east side of the street.

Clark explained that based on the information they knew at the time, they believed the woman was in grave danger and officers had to intervene immediately to save her life.

“As the male attempted to move the female over a chain link fence, a single round was fired by an officer using a rifle, equipped with a magnified scope," Clark said.

He'd later add that the shot was from 92 feet away and was made 50 seconds after the duo left the crashed car.

"The round struck the male and he fell to the ground," he continued. "The female remained near the male after the shooting. She initially did not comply with officers’ commands and related to officers that she was now in possession of a firearm.”

After a few minutes, Mosley crawled to officers and was taken into custody and to a local hospital, where he is now stable, for significant injuries to his face, Clark said. No firearms were found near him. He faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and investigation of secondary kidnapping for allegedly holding the driver of the truck at gunpoint, Clark said.

The woman was also transported to a hospital for her injuries, which were from the crash. She was later released and taken into custody on unrelated warrants. She has not been identified. No firearms were found on or near her.

In addition, Clark said the driver and passenger of the crashed vehicle — who both stayed in the truck during the incident — were taken into custody after police deployed 40-millimeter less-lethal rounds. They were also brought to the hospital for injuries related to the crash and both were released early Saturday. The male driver was in violation of his parole, and may face additional charges, Clark said, and the woman was arrested on unrelated warrants.

Three firearms were ultimately recovered at the scene: one in the roadway near the truck, one underneath the car when it was put back on its wheels and one behind the glovebox. The latter had been stolen in a burglary, Clark said.

Three spent shell casings were found along the pursuit route and one was found in the cab of the truck. Clark said they are being tested to see if they were from one of the recovered firearms.

Later that evening, police gained a search warrant for the house along the 4700 block of Josephine Street, where police had responded after the road rage incident. There, they found two people inside. One of them was Madera — identified as the suspect driver in the road rage shooting. The other person was arrested on an unrelated warrant.

Madera has been formally charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree assault, felony menacing and illegal discharge of a firearm.

The officer who discharged his weapon has been with the DPD since 2017. He is on modified duty status until he completes the department's integration program, Clark said.

The case is being investigated by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Colorado State Patrol, DPD's Homicide Unit and the Denver District Attorney's Office.

Fake hostage situation led to Denver police's concern for woman's life and police shooting, DPD says

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