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DA's Office: Colorado Springs police officers justified in fatal shooting of suspect

August 1, 2017 Updated: August 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm
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Palmer Park Boulevard and Circle Drive was closed Tuesday evening, February 21, 2017, after a suspect was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting. (Ellie Mulder, The Gazette)

Three Colorado Springs police officers were justified in fatally shooting domestic-violence suspect Misael Macias Cano in February, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.

The officers involved in the shooting, Jake Skifstad, Dale Lucky and Jeffry Whittmore, will not be charged.

The DA's Office said the following happened Feb 21:

About 3 p.m., police officers went to 2921 Illinois Ave. to find Cano, 39, who was wanted on suspicion of attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Sgt. Carlos Sandoval repeatedly ordered Cano in Spanish and English to keep his hands up and get out of his vehicle, but Cano moved his right hand down, then placed his vehicle in reverse. He fled the scene but crashed near Templeton Gap Road and East Fillmore Street.

Misael Macias Cano 

Cano then ran to Elm Meadow View.

Officer Steven Pugsley saw that Cano had a handgun and repeatedly told him to drop it. Instead, Cano turned around and started to raise his gun.

Pugsley fired one shot, hitting a gas meter attached to a nearby residence. Cano forced his way at gunpoint into a home on Elm Meadow View and fled in the resident's minivan.

In the area of Circle Drive and Palmer Park Boulevard, officers successfully blocked the stolen van. Cano fired his gun at officers.

Skifstad, Lucky and Wittmore returned fire, hitting Cano multiple times. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Surveillance footage from a nearby business shows a puff of smoke from Cano's van - the moment he fired at officers - before the officers returned fire.

Cano had previously served jail time for a DUI charge in 2013, which his niece Anais Flores told The Gazette in February had caused him to become "deathly ill" and fearful of going back to jail.

Family members said fear drove him to flee from police when they came to arrest him on accusations he beat his ex-girlfriend two months prior.

Following the incident, the officers involved were placed on routine administrative leave.

Colorado law allows officers to use deadly force if the officer believes the suspect has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, or if the officer believes it is necessary to defend himself from deadly physical force, the DA's Office said.

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