Fugitive Naeschylus Vinzant killed by Aurora police was unarmed

Fugitive Naeschylus Vinzant killed by Aurora police was unarmed Naeschylus Vinzant
Naeschylus Vinzant

Aurora police say the suspect killed by an officer on Friday was a fugitive with a long criminal history who had cut off his ankle monitor. Police also revealed that after the shooting, they quickly discovered the man was unarmed.

The fugitive, who was identified by the coroner's office as 37-year-old Naeschylus Vinzant, died from one gunshot wound to the chest. He had allegedly cut off his Department of Corrections ankle monitor on March 2.

Aurora's new Police Chief, Nicholas Metz, told reporters that he believed limiting the amount of information released about the officer-involved shooting was in the best interest of the investigation.

The officer-involved shooting occurred Friday, around 1:14 p.m. in the 16200 block of East 12th Avenue, just south of Laredo Elementary School.

Immediately after the shooting, Police Department spokeswoman Diana Cooley said officers were searching for a man wanted for kidnapping and robbery. She also said the suspect was known to be armed and dangerous.

Cooley said that the officers were trying to approach and arrest the suspect when the shooting occurred. Chief Metz added Monday that the SWAT team was involved in the arrest, but refused to provide additional details about what preceded the shooting.

Aurora Police say they are in the process of interviewing the officer who fired the fatal shot, but have not completed the interview process. Additionally, the Jefferson County District Attorney will be handling the case because of an undisclosed conflict of interest involving the Arapahoe County DA. 

Vinzant has an 8-page record with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. It shows that his most recent previous arrest, on August 22, 2014, was for domestic violence and a parole violation.

In addition to other parole violations, the record shows Vinzant was previously charged with stealing a car, being a felon in possession of a weapon, trespassing, assault, fraud, wiretapping, drugs and attempted homicide.

By Staff 03/09/2015 08:47:00