AURORA | While releasing information that cleared an Aurora police officer in a June shooting of a gun-wielding suspect at an Aurora motel, investigators revealed it was the same officer, a former Army sniper, who shot a lauded Aurora hero trying to save his grandson from an intruder in late July.
Arapahoe County district attorney officials said Aurora police Officer Drew Limbaugh used justified force when shooting to death Joey Bronson June 27 at the Biltmore Motel, 8900 E. Colfax Ave.
Aurora Police on Wednesday confirmed Limbaugh was the same officer who shot Aurora resident Richard Gary Black, 73, on July 30 at his home on Montview Avenue.
Investigators reporting on the Biltmore shooting said Limbaugh was among police who were called to the area after Bronson, 39, pulled out a handgun and fired it into the air. When officers arrived, they confronted Bronson, who was armed with a .380 handgun.
During a chase, officers yelled at Bronson to drop his gun. At one point, Bronson stopped, pointed his gun at Limbaugh and tried to fire, but the gun malfunctioned, according to DA investigators.
Limbaugh fired at him, killing him, according to the report.
Other officers and numerous body cam and other videos corroborated Limbaugh’s and other recollection of the event.
“Any police officer in that position would reasonably be in fear for his life and the lives of other officers, and would reasonably believe that firing his service weapon was necessary to defend himself and his fellow officers,” said Richard Orman, Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney, in his report. “The fact that Joey Bronson continued to point the gun in Officer Limbaugh’s direction even after he had been shot, and even as he was going to the ground, and while on the ground, constituted grounds for Officer Limbaugh to believe that it was necessary to keep shooting until the threat was mitigated.”
Limbaugh is the same officer who fired the lethal shot at Black in late July during a surreal, chaotic event at northwest Aurora home, police said Wednesday.
Black was killed by Limbaugh during a chaotic scene at the Black’s home. Police say Black shot Dajon Harper, 26, when a crazed intruder, charged up with drugs, barged into the home in the middle of the night and inexplicably attacked Black’s grandson.
The incident has highlighted a number of issues, including how soon officers should be returned to active duty after being involved in a police shooting. Limbaugh returned to duty 18 days after the Biltmore hooting, police said, a decision Metz has defended.
Metz has consistently defended police performance at the scene, and the decision to return Limbaugh to duty. An investigation by the Adams County district attorneys office is underway.
Details released in the Biltmore shooting investigation indicated Limbaugh is a four-year veteran of the Aurora force, and he was an Army sniper for four years.
“He has extensive firearms experience, and is a self-defense, arrest control, and baton instructor with APD,” according to the report.