No criminal charges are warranted for two unidentified Colorado corrections officers who shot dead an armed man in Denver in October, the Denver district attorney said.
On Oct. 20, 2021, Aaron Lang, 38, was shot by the officers, part of the the Colorado Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension Unit, in the 1000 block of South Parker Road. Lang was taken to Denver Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The officers were serving an arrest warrant for Lang, who was wanted on an alleged parole violation.
After an investigation, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann on Wednesday released a “decision letter” on the police shooting and “concluded that no criminal charges are warranted,” according to a news release.
The day of the shooting Lang attempted to evade the officers and his arrest, the release said. When confronted by the officers, Lang refused to put down his weapon and raised it instead.
“After officers issued further commands that he drop his weapon, Mr. Lang pulled his handgun up as if to point it at them before being fatally shot,” McCann said. “Under these circumstances, these two DOC officers were justified in using lethal force.”
The decision letter, a review of the shooting, was dated Wednesday and sent to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen and Dean Williams, executive director of the state corrections department. In the letter, a public document, McCann describes the officers as part of an “elite unit” and that “disclosing their identities will place them in danger.” In the letter they are referred to as DOC1 and DOC2.
McCann will present details about the shooting and discuss her conclusions during a virtual community meeting scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, on Microsoft Teams.