Aurora officers justified in shooting of man on RTD bus

Four members of the Aurora Police Department will not face criminal charges for their role in the fatal shooting of a man on an RTD bus last year.

Brian Mason, the 17th Judicial District Attorney, determined two officers were justified in using deadly force and two others were justified in using physical force on Alexander Collins, 35, who had just allegedly robbed a convenience store with a large knife.

Collins’ “refusal to obey commands and his actions with a deadly weapon caused these officers to make a split-second and, indeed, reasonable judgment in a tense and quickly evolving situation,” Mason wrote in a decision letter to Aurora interim police Chief Art Acevedo.

On Oct. 2, 2022, an Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputy was sent to a work-release program facility by Colfax Avenue and Moline Street to pick up Collins, who police said was violating rules and causing a disturbance.

When the deputy arrived, he saw Collins armed with a large knife and called for backup from Aurora police, authorities said.

The man then boarded an RTD bus, where he was confronted by two Aurora officers. Police ordered Collins to leave the bus, then show his hands and sit down, but he refused all orders, the decision letter said.

Officers deployed a taser and K-9 and physically struggled with Collins. As the man moved toward passengers at the back of the bus, two officers shot the man, prosecutors said.

He later died at the hospital.

“I find the conduct of all four officers to be reasonable, justified and even heroic,” Mason wrote. “Mr. Collins presented a clear threat to the lives of the passengers, including small children, on that bus. He also presented a clear threat to the officers who were seeking to intervene.”

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