Officers ruled justified in fatal Park Meadows shooting

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Lone Tree Police Department officers were justified in the fatal shooting of a man suspected of attempting to steal from Park Meadows mall who fired gunshots at pursuing officers in February, according to a review by the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Kenneth Sisneros was killed in the parking lot of Park Meadows on Feb. 28.

A letter to Lone Tree Police Chief Kirk Wilson, dated Sept. 18 and signed by Chief Deputy District Attorney Clinton McKenzie, states the use of force in the incident was “reasonable, justified and appropriate in order for the officers to defend themselves and the public from the danger posed by Mr. Sisneros.”

Police responded to a theft-in-progress at Macy's shortly before 8:30 p.m., according to the letter's summary of facts regarding the incident. Sisneros reportedly ran from the officers, hid between two cars and fired on police. Two officers fired their guns at Sisneros, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

A woman, Mercedes Cruz, was arrested in connection with the alleged theft. Cruz failed to appear for her arraignment Sept. 23 and a warrant has been issued for her arrest, according to officials with the DA's office. Cruz faces misdemeanor theft and Class 4 felony drug charges, as well as a misdemeanor charge of car theft.

Cruz, the letter details, fled in a different direction than Sisneros. She was arrested March 3, and she told authorities that Sisneros had been driving a stolen car and was armed with three handguns.

“(Sisneros) had told her he felt harassed by police and that, if they were stopped, he intended to shoot at the police because he wasn't going to go back to prison,” the letter states.

“The officers who fired had reasonable grounds to believe, and did believe, that both themselves and other people were (in) imminent danger of being killed or of receiving great bodily injury because of the actions of Mr. Sisneros, who was firing his gun at them.”

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