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Reports shows Colorado has had 300 officer-involved shootings in 7 1/2 years 

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Most officer-involved shootings in Colorado stem from calls for service and result in death for 45 percent of citizens who are shot.

Those are among data points contained in the latest report from the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Justice, mandated by Senate Bill 217, adopted in 2015.
The most recent report, released in March, covers the period between Jan. 1, 2010, and June 30, 2017, and includes shootings by local law enforcement agencies, the State Patrol, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the state Division of Parks and Wildlife.

The statistics are based on 54 agencies that reported 300 officer-involved shootings by 547 officers. Those shootings involved 334 citizens. (About 240 agencies are required to report.)

A sample of findings:

• In 2015, a high of 52 officer-involved shootings was marked, with a slight decline in 2016.

• 52 percent of shootings involved one citizen and one officer. Another 40 percent involved one citizen and two or more officers.

• 94 percent of officers involved in shootings were male; 92 percent of citizens were male.

• 83 percent of officers were white with 14 percent black or Hispanic; the remaining 3 percent were unknown or not reported. But 55 percent of citizens who were shot were white, 29 percent Hispanic and 14 percent black (1 percent was unknown).

• About 40 percent of those shot were 20 to 29 years old; the next highest age category was 35 to 39, with about 15 percent. Officers who were 40 to 44 had the highest share of shootings, at 22 percent. The next highest were age 35 to 39, at 20 percent.

• Citizens ages 20 to 24 represented 21 percent of those shot, followed by the age group 25 to 29, at 18 percent. Of black citizens shot, 58 percent were in those two age groups. For whites, 29 percent were age 20 to 29, while 48 percent of Hispanic citizens shot were in the same age group.

• Calls for service were the basis for initial contact in 54 percent of shootings, followed by traffic stops (13 percent), investigations (11 percent), and warrants (10 percent). Of the black citizens involved in shootings, 23 percent began as traffic stops, significantly higher than whites (12 percent) and Hispanics (18 percent).

• 82 percent of shootings resulted from an imminent threat to officers or civilians, or officers being fired upon.

• Officers gave a verbal warning 75 percent of the time.

• 49 percent of shootings involved citizens armed with handguns; 8 percent had no weapon of any kind. In shootings involving black citizens, 75 percent were armed with a firearm, compared to 57 percent of shootings involving whites, and 55 percent involving Hispanic citizens.

• 45 percent of citizens were killed and 34 percent wounded; 20 percent weren’t hurt, and data was missing for 1 percent. When viewed by race, 45 percent of whites were killed, 52 percent of Hispanics and 29
percent of blacks.

• Tactical teams had the highest kill rate, at 67 percent of citizens shot when tactical teams were called.

• Of the citizens who weren’t killed, 86 percent were arrested or cited.

• Denver Police Department killed the most, 59, followed by Aurora, 34, and Colorado Springs, 19. El Paso County Sheriff’s Office killed four.

See the report at bit.ly/shootingreport.

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