Jahvell Forrest set for trial in 2014 north Aurora officer shooting


AURORA | A man accused of shooting an Aurora police officer in 2014 is set to go on trial next week in Adams County.

Jahvell Forrest, mug shot courtesy Aurora police. Jahvell Forrest, 21, is accused of shooting Aurora police Officer Ryan Burns in the leg during a November 2014 traffic stop in north Aurora. He has been held in the Adams County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond since his arrest a few days after the shooting.

His trial on multiple charges, including attempted murder of a police officer, is scheduled to start Jan. 25 in Adams County District Court in Brighton.

Burns was wounded in the leg and police said he only survived because his partner, Officer Dale Leonard, quickly used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Police said Burns needed five liters of blood during his hospital stay.

Burns survived his injuries, but Aurora police spokesman Sgt. Chris Amsler said Burns just returned to full active duty in December, more than a year after the shooting.

In a preliminary hearing last year that offered the public’s first glance at the evidence against Forrest — court documents in the case have been sealed since his arrest — police testified that Forrest’s then-17-year-old brother told investigators that Forrest was “scared and had no choice,” but to shoot at police when they pulled him over driving a stolen car that night.

In addition to being behind the wheel of a stolen car, Forrest had a .40-caliber handgun and multiple active warrants for his arrest, police said.

Forrest and his brother were on the run for several days following the shooting, though detectives were able to track and identify them through cell records based on calls they made shortly after the crime, according to police.

Prosecutors said Forrest’s brother told friends at a party the night of the shooting that Forrest was the suspect who shot and wounded Burns. The teen who hosted the party told police Forrest’s brother boasted about the crime.

Police said surveillance footage showed Forrest and his brother inside a Family Dollar store on the corner of East Colfax Avenue and Galena Street just before Forrest stole a Volkswagen Passat that was left running in front of the store.

A short time later, Burns and Leonard spotted the car facing the wrong direction nearby. The vehicle took off and the officers spotted it again near Fulton Street and East 17th Avenue. The officers were approaching the car when someone inside opened fire, striking Burns in the leg, police said.

Forrest was questioned by an Aurora police officer while exiting a perimeter set up shortly following the shooting, but he used a fake name and was let through.

— Aurora Sentinel reporter Quincy Snowdon contributed to this report.