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Aurora police release body camera footage of unarmed man shot by officer in Colorado

Family reacts after Aurora police releases body cam footage of shooting
Family reacts after Aurora police releases body cam footage of shooting 02:16

The family of an unarmed man shot by an Aurora SWAT officer is demanding justice. The Aurora Police Department released body camera footage of the fatal shooting Thursday morning. 

Aurora police produced a critical incident report video, which includes body-worn camera footage edited by APD and narrations by Interim Police Chief Heather Morris.

"We take any use of force seriously, especially when there's a loss of life," said Morris in the video.

Aurora PD

APD's SWAT team was assisting the Denver Police Department Fugitive Unit with surveillance of 37-year-old Kilyn Lewis. He was wanted on an active warrant out of Denver for attempted first-degree murder. 

The arrest warrant stemmed from May 5, when police say Lewis was involved in a shooting near East 48th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

Police say Lewis visited an apartment complex in the 300 block of South Ironton Street. Teams conducted surveillance over the course of two days. Due to the 'high-risk nature' of the warrant, APD's SWAT team was requested to assist with the arrest.

Just before noon on May 23, officers watched Lewis park a vehicle and open the trunk. Body camera footage shows he was at the rear of the vehicle when officers approached.

Police commanded Lewis to get on the ground. At that time, his hands were visible and empty. Lewis then took a few steps and placed his right hand behind his back, out of view. When his hand came back into view, Lewis was holding an object. APD Officer Michael Dieck fired a single shot.

The object was later determined to be a cellphone.

After he was shot, Lewis is seen on the ground saying, "I don't have nothing. I don't have anything."

Lewis was pronounced dead two days later.

"He had his hands up, with a phone in his hand. All of the officers see the phone is in his hand. And Officer Dieck decides this is the right time to shoot," said Edward Hopkins, an attorney for the family. "The Aurora Police Department owes the family an explanation for why it did not do its job on May 23, 2024. And I'm not talking about an explanation for why they killed Kilyn Lewis. We all know that was wrong. They owe us an explanation for why they didn't arrest Officer Dieck on the spot."


Attorneys from the law firm of Rathod Mohamedbhai, representing Lewis, say this is the murder of an unarmed man who was surrendering. They joined the Lewis family for a news conference Thursday morning.

"If a civilian with less weapons training, less body armor, and less tactical policing experience than Officer Dieck had on May 23 shot and killed Mr. Lewis under the exact same circumstances, that civilian would undoubtedly have been arrested and charged with murder."

Kilyn's family demands that District Attorney John Kellner investigate Dieck and ask a grand jury to charge him with murder or manslaughter.

"Why did he do it? I want to know the answer to that question. Why did you shoot him, Officer Dieck? Didn't you see the other officers? Didn't you see what they saw? Why were you the only one to fire a shot?" asked Anndrec Lewis, Kilyn's wife.

The family is also demanding APD release an unedited copy of the body camera footage.

"They followed him for two days. They observed him. They saw that he was unarmed. They saw that he wasn't posing a threat and they still shot him," said another attorney. "It's not fair to look at just the snapshot and say it happened quickly, because this didn't happen quickly. They had a lot of opportunity, and they murdered an unarmed man surrendering."

Morris says she will ensure that a complete and thorough investigation is conducted and will share those findings with the community.


In the incident response video, Morris addressed the men and women of the department, saying, "I want you to know that I'm proud of each of you for showing up every day to serve our community. I recognize that you often have to make critical decisions with limited information and that you are willing to risk so much of yourselves to keep our community safe. Together, we faced many challenges, and we will always hold ourselves to high standards, because it's what our community expects and deserves."

Dieck is a 12-year veteran of the department and has been assigned to the SWAT team for more than eight years. He remains on paid administrative leave.

There is an ongoing independent investigation led by the 18th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team to determine whether the officer's actions comply with state law. The administrative investigation is led by the Aurora Police Department's Internal Investigations Bureau.

APD will release additional findings once the investigations are complete.

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