Man shot dead in pickup truck by Glendale police was unarmed, attorney says

A man inside a pickup truck on Colorado Boulevard, who was shot dead by Glendale police, was unarmed, according to an attorney representing the dead man’s family.

John Pacheaco, Jr., 36, was shot on Oct. 31 when officers surrounded the pickup truck, which had come to a stop in traffic as vehicles drove around it. The shooting is being investigated by Denver police.

Matthew A. Haltzman, a Fort Collins attorney who represents Pacheaco’s family, said he met with a Denver police investigator on Friday.

“We’ve confirmed there was no firearm, no knife or no gun,” Haltzman said. “This is not a firearms case.”

Based on Friday’s meeting, Haltzman believes police will claim that the pickup truck, with Pacheaco behind the wheel, “posed a dangerous and deadly condition, and that’s why the shooting was warranted.”

Police have said little about the ongoing case. They described Pacheaco as “unresponsive” when officers approached the truck, which had been reported stolen.

“The truck in fact was stolen out of Loveland,” Haltzman said. His firm is investigating how Pacheaco came to be in possession of the truck.

A video clip of the incident shows the truck move forward slowly as officers are outside the vehicle. It then speeds backward and hits a police vehicle behind it. Pacheaco was shot multiple times.

“We are still waiting to see if one involved officer and a witness officer will provide statements,” said Jay Casillas, a Denver police spokesman. There was no further comment pending the ongoing investigation.

The night of the incident, the truck was motionless and Pacheaco was “incapacitated” when officers approached, Haltzman said. “That does not warrant the shooting that happened.”

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