Police Shoot Man Holding Cell Phone; Thought It Was A Gun

The interim police chief in Lakewood says officers shot and killed a 37-year-old man in a lumberyard last month because he pointed a cell phone at them as though it were a gun.

Interim Lakewood Chief Mike Zaro said Monday he could not have asked the two officers involved in the shooting to have handled it differently because they had no time to identify the dark object the man was pointing.

Daniel Covarrubias was atop a 25-foot-tall stack of lumber at Pinnacle Lumber on April 21 when he was shot. Witnesses called 911 because they heard police sirens and saw him running, and they assumed he was fleeing from police.

Zaro said the two officers fired a total of nine shots, five of which hit Covarrubias. He said the prosecutor's office will determine whether the shooting was justified.

Zaro said police were not looking for him. A lawyer for his family has said Covarrubias had gone to a hospital just hours before because he was having hallucinations.

Covarrubias' family and supporters protested outside the police station during Monday's announcement. Covarrubias' mother said the officers should not have fired. The family says it is conducting its own investigation.


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