Colo. suspect fires on cops while handcuffed in cruiser

No officers where hurt when police say 32-year-old Isaac Vigil opened fire as he was exiting the back seat of a patrol car


By Alan Gathright
The Denver Channel

DENVER — A suspect accused of pulling a gun from the back of his pants while he was handcuffed with his arms behind his back and opening fire on Denver Police officers now faces several charges, including attempted murder and drug possession.

No officers where hurt when police say 32-year-old Isaac Vigil opened fire as he was exiting the back seat of a patrol car in the District 4 Police Station parking lot on Wednesday afternoon.

Police say an officer returned fire and wounded Vigil. He remained at Denver Health Medical Center on Thursday afternoon, according to the Denver Jail website.

Vigil is under police custody at the hospital. He's being held on investigation of attempted murder, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a defaced firearm. The last charge involves removing or defacing the manufacturer's serial number or any other identifying mark from a gun.

He's also being held on an Adams County arrest warrant for failure to appear in court on a case where he's charged with two counts of felony menacing with a weapon and one count of illegal weapon possession by a convicted felon.

Vigil is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday morning.

Sources tell CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia that the handcuffed suspect pulled a handgun from the back of his pants, and that arresting officers performed an "inadequate frisk." The sources said that Vigil was wearing baggy pants, which might help explain how the gun was missed.

Denver Police were not officially commenting on how officers failed to find the gun, citing the ongoing investigation into the incident.

Denver Police Chief Robert White said the incident began Wednesday afternoon when officers arrested Vigil  in the 300 block of South Elliot Street on suspicion of drug possession and the Adams Count arrest warrant.

7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart reviewed the Denver Police Department's Operations Manual procedures for searching a suspect who's in custody.

The manual clearly states "all persons taken into custody must be searched for weapons and contraband."

It also states that an officer must take into consideration: The "type of crime committed" and "knowledge that the person is carrying or has carried weapons in the past."

Along with drug possession, officers were arresting Vigil on the warrant for an April 8 weapon possession violation by a convicted felon in which Vigil allegedly threatened someone with a weapon, court records state.

Reprinted with permission from The Denver Channel

  1. Tags
  2. Officer Safety
  3. Officer-Involved Shootings
  4. Vehicle Incidents and Issues
  5. Use of Force
  6. Cruiser
  7. Handcuffs
  8. Officer Survival
  9. Police
  10. denver

Recommended Investigations

Join the discussion