An Aurora officer who shot and killed a machete-wielding man has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
On March 4, officer Justin Henderson shot 22-year-old Shamikle Jackson three times inside an apartment at 2210 Dallas St., according to a summary of the shooting addressed to Chief Nick Metz on Tuesday and signed by Adams County District Attorney Dave Young.
Police were called to the apartment by a man who told dispatchers he had hostages and “two people were dead,” according to the summary. Officers arrived and safely cleared Shaquayla Jackson, the suspect’s sister, from the apartment. She told police only her brother was inside.
Officers entered the two-bedroom apartment and found no one in the living room or kitchen. Yelling commands for anyone inside to come out with their hands up, a response came from a back bedroom: “You’re going to have to come back and get me.”
Henderson, with gun drawn and other armed officers behind him, approached the bedroom door, which was slightly ajar. Henderson yelled: “Aurora police, come out with your hands up!” There was no response, the summary stated.
Henderson kicked open the bedroom door. It was slammed shut. Suddenly the door opened and Jackson came out “quickly and very aggressively with a very large knife or machete” in his right hand above his head, the summary stated.
Henderson fired four times, hitting Jackson three times. Jackson fell, dropping the machete. He was handcuffed and an officer, Toney Hannon, started CPR. Jackson was taken to University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora where he was pronounced dead.
No other people were inside the home. No other officers fired. Dr. Steve Cina, a forensic pathologist with the Adams County coroner’s office, said in an autopsy report: “The circumstances of death suggest some features of suicide by cop.”
Shaquayla Jackson, according to the summary, told investigators that her brother had not been eating or sleeping well and that a week before the shooting he had visited “Aurora Mental Health.” She had been getting ready to go to work when the incident quickly unfolded. She answered the door to find officers with guns drawn who ushered her upstairs.
Shaquayla Jackson “did not know what was going on” the morning of the shooting, the summary stated.
Officer Henderson “fired his weapon at Mr. Jackson because he reasonably believed it was necessary to defend himself” and other officers “from what he perceived to be the imminent use of deadly physical force,” the summary stated. “Mr. Jackson’s actions dictated Officer Henderson’s response in this incident.”