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VIDEO: Denver cop gets shot, still takes down suspect and helps shooting victim

Denver Police Department officers and cruiser. (Rob!/Flickr)
September 16, 2018

Officer bodycam footage showing an intense gunfight with a suspect was recently released by the Denver district attorney office with a declaration of his innocence.

The video captures the June 13 incident in which Denver Police officers Travis Lloyd and Sean Drew encountered the suspect, who shot Lloyd and a bystander, KDVR reported last week. That didn’t stop Lloyd from carrying out his duties, however.

The suspect, Carnell Nelson, carried out an armed robbery of a downtown Denver 7-11 store. An employee fled the store and flagged down a police car with Lloyd and Drew inside. A bystander pointed down the sidewalk, telling the officers, “Right here. He’s got a gun.”

When they began to pursue Nelson, he started shooting toward them, firing off five shots. Lloyd was shot in the leg, and a woman nearby was shot in the foot.

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Despite his injuries, Lloyd returned 13 shots toward Nelson, with one striking Nelson in the chest.

Drew, who was behind Lloyd, didn’t fire his weapon. He took cover to radio for backup, and began applying a tourniquet to Lloyd’s leg. “Shots fired, shots fired! Get me cars here Code 10,” Drew called into the radio.

The video shows blood from Lloyd’s leg wound as he maintained his position with his gun aimed at Nelson, who he observed still moving. Despite Drew’s urging, Lloyd refused to move until other officers secured Nelson.

When officers reached Nelson, he was unresponsive next to a cash drawer with at least $180, as well as a .40 caliber Glock handgun and five shell casings.

A letter from District Attorney Beth McCann announced the completion of the investigation on Sept. 12, and concluded “no criminal charges are warranted against Office Lloyd … based on Colorado criminal law.”

The letter detailed Lloyd’s remarks made during the investigation. He was asked what his concerns were during the encounter.

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“Dying,” he said. “The best way to put it is I don’t… I guess you never know how you’re going to react when you’re getting shot at, but once I recognized that I was getting shot at… I was, I was not going to let him kill me. I’m not going to let him get away, you know after shooting me…I’m going to make sure that he stops shooting at me and doesn’t have the ability to kill someone else.”

“Under these extremely dangerous circumstances, Officer Lloyd made a split-second judgment, and his decision to return fire after being shot and shoot Mr. Nelson in self-defense, in defense of others, and to effectuate an arrest, was clearly justified under Colorado law,” McCann’s letter determined. “He may well have prevented injury not only to himself or his partner, but also to those in the vicinity,” the letter added.

Once Nelson was secured, Lloyd left his position to check on the injured bystander. He provided first aid instructions to someone helping the injured woman, and still refused to sit down at his partner’s urging.