Westminster officers justified in fatal shooting of 37-year-old man, DA determines

Three Westminster police officers will not face criminal charges after shooting and killing a man in September who, authorities allege, fired at law enforcement during an attempted arrest.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann determined the three officers — Anthony Stroup, Chris Neal and Kevin Flores — were justified in shooting 37-year-old Drew Lucero on Sept. 3 at a house in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood.

“Once Mr. Lucero exited the house, produced a weapon and fired it, it was impossible for these officers to apply nonviolent means prior to resorting to physical force,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in a news release announcing her decision. “Nonviolent means would have been ineffective in preventing an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to these officers. In this perilous situation, these officers’ decisions to shoot Mr. Lucero in defense of self and each other was justified under Colorado law.”

Lucero had a warrant out for his arrest on a host of charges — including attempted murder — in connection with a 2020 incident in which he allegedly shot a woman during a domestic violence incident, McCann said in the decision letter. Police were looking for Lucero on Sept. 3 after he caused damage to the same victim’s house, authorities said.

As police attempted to arrest Lucero at the end of a driveway, Lucero allegedly pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and fired one round in the direction of two of the officers, prosecutors said.

Lucero pointed his gun at officers again, at which point they opened fire, McCann wrote. He died at the hospital later that night.

McCann will discuss her decision not to charge the officers during a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. The public can join via this link.

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