Boulder police shoot, kill woman armed with ‘replica’ gun Sunday

· Dec. 18, 2023, 3:28 pm
Police lights on a Denver Police Department vehicle.Police lights on a Denver Police Department vehicle.Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Lights on a police vehicle, June 2021.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. on Dec. 19, 2023

Boulder police officers shot and killed a woman near the North Boulder Rec Center on Sunday, Dec. 17. The Boulder County Coroner's Office has now identified the person as 51-year-old Jeanette Alatorre. The exact cause and manner of death are still under investigation.

Deputy Police Chief Ron Gosage said during a press conference Monday that officers were responding to a report of a woman allegedly pointing a gun at a driver who was leaving the center. Officers arrived at the scene around 4:12 p.m. on Sunday. 

Gosage did not provide much detail about the exchange between the woman and the officers. He said the woman didn’t listen to the officers’ commands and started walking away. 

“The officers followed her and attempted to gain compliance,” Gosage said during a press conference. “They informed her that if she did not cooperate, she could have force used against her. She did not cooperate and continued walking away, turning down residential side streets. The officers followed her and used less lethal attempts to get her to comply with their orders. They also saw her remove a gun from her purse.”

About 12 minutes after officers began speaking with the suspect, they shot her. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Gosage did not say what immediately preceded officers opening fire. 

Gosage said officers later determined the gun the woman was holding was a “replica Beretta pistol.” 

“I can tell you when the phrase ‘replica firearm’ is used, it means it looks exactly like a real gun,” said Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty. “It does not function like a real gun.”

Gosage did not disclose the identities of the responding officers or the suspect. However, he did add that BPD received a report of a woman trespassing at the North Boulder Rec Center earlier in the day. He said the trespasser appeared to be the same woman as the one shot and killed by police. 

A multi-agency investigation has been launched to determine whether the officers’ lethal use of force was warranted.  Dougherty’s office will review the findings and determine whether the officers should face criminal charges. 

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