Aurora police to release body camera footage of officer fatally shooting 14-year-old robbery suspect

Courtesy of the Richardson family
Jor’Dell Da’Shawn Richardson (front) with his family.

The Aurora Police Department will soon release body-worn camera footage showing the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old robbery suspect. 

Police Chief Art Acevedo met with family representatives of Jor’Dell Da’Shawn Richardson on Tuesday at Aurora police headquarters to review footage of his killing, police and the family’s legal counsel said. 

State law requires the department to wait 72 hours after showing victims’ family representatives before releasing body camera footage to the public.

Chief Acevedo will hold a press conference addressing the footage on Friday, according to a tweet from the department.

What happened the day of the fatal shooting

The shooting happened around 4:20 p.m. on June 1. 

Police said an Aurora Police Department gang sergeant was on patrol when they noticed several teenagers wearing medical masks and hooded sweatshirts outside of a convenience store near East Eighth Avenue and North Dayton Street.

The sergeant called in for reinforcements as the group entered the store. Moments later, according to the release, the group of teenagers ran from the store with several stolen vape canisters.

Officers chased the suspects and arrested two immediately “without incident,” according to the release. “Several” others sped away in a stolen Kia Sedona minivan. 

Meanwhile, Richardson, 14, tried to flee from the officers on foot. Officers caught up with him and “during a struggle to take him into custody, one officer fired their weapon,” the release said. 

Richardson had a gun on him at the time, said Chief Acevedo during a press conference on June 1. 

“Our officer starts yelling ‘Let go of the gun, let go of the gun, let go of the gun,’' Acevedo said. “At one point, the officer discharges his firearm.” 

Afterward, the officers searched Richardson to make sure he didn’t have any other weapons, Acevedo said. 

“The suspect lost consciousness and they immediately started CPR,” he said.  

Officers called for an ambulance, which took him to University Hospital in Aurora. 

Doctors pronounced Richardson dead from his gunshot wound at 5:05 p.m. that afternoon, Acevedo said. 

The next day, the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office confirmed the cause of death was a gunshot wound and classified the death as a homicide.

'He was a child. He hadn't even gone to high school yet'

Family members and legal counsel who reviewed body camera footage Tuesday said it was traumatizing to watch. 

“They were traumatized by the shooting death of a boy they loved,” said Siddhartha Rathod, a lawyer for Richardson’s family. “Viewing the videos left them with more questions than answers.”

Rathod declined to comment further on the content of the video.

Courtesy of the Richardson family
Jor’Dell Da’Shawn Richardson playing basketball.

Relatives described the 14-year-old as a “beautiful soul” and “your average 14-year-old kid.” 

“He loved sports, movies, and playing video games,” said Lawrence Miles, his uncle in a phone interview. “He was a child. He hadn’t even gone to high school yet.” 

It’s still not clear how Richardson got involved with the robbery. But family members believe he had a friend who knew some older teenagers and several men who were around 18 years old. 

On June 1, Richardson met up with the group and wound up riding along with them in a stolen van and one of the older men gave Richardson a gun, Miles said. 

“They sent him into the store to rob the store for vape pens,” Miles said. 

The robbery was not typical behavior for the 14-year-old, said Tekyra Miles, Richardson’s cousin. 

“He was funny, smart, he had friends,” she said. “We were close.”

Family called for the release of body camera footage during a small protest at Aurora police headquarters on Monday. They referred all questions about the case to their legal representation. 

On a GoFundMe page, Richardson’s parents said their son “was loved, talented, and had dreams for his future that will forever remain unfulfilled.” 

The post called his death an injustice. 

“Let us honor Jor’Dell's memory by standing up for what is right,” they wrote.