Second Judical District
201 W, Colfax Ave, Dept. 801
Denver, CO 80202
July 21, 2023 Contact: Maro Casparian, Interim Communications Director, 720-913-9036
DENVER— Denver DA Beth McCann today announced that after reviewing the officer-involved shooting incident from May 1, 2023, no criminal charges will be filed against the two Denver Police Department officers who shot and killed Frankie Lee Evans who was 55 years old at the time.
On May 1, 2023, officers responded to a 911 call from 2045 Oneida Street in Denver reporting that the caller’s nephew, Frankie Lee Evans, was going to stab and kill someone in the house. It was reported that Evans was high on crack, had a knife, and had hostages locked in a room.
When officers arrived, Evans was in a back bedroom with two others and shouted to the officers not to shoot and that he had hostages with him. At that time, rather than approach the bedroom and confront Evans, the officers, along with a mental health clinician, began de-escalation and negotiation efforts which lasted for 57 minutes. As negotiations continued, officers asked that the hostages be released. At one point, Evans stated he would release the female hostage, but when officers heard scuffling and yelling emanating from the hostages, officers made the decision to enter the room where they saw Evans pointing a knife toward one of the hostages as he held him in a ‘head-lock’. Officers yelled commands to drop the knife which were ignored. One officer then fired three shots and the other officer fired one shot. After providing medical attention to Mr. Evans, he was declared deceased after paramedics arrived.
“In this case the officers knew there were hostages in the room with Evans and that he had a knife. Mr. Evans ignored the officers’ repeated requests to let the individuals in the room go. After almost an hour of negotiations, when officers heard screaming and scuffling come from the room, they had reasonable concern that the occupants of the room were in danger. When they entered the room, what the officers saw gave them a reasonable belief that the hostages were in imminent danger of being seriously injured or killed,” said Denver DA McCann. “Based on all of the evidence and Colorado law, I find the officers’ responses to be reasonable and legally justified.”
DA McCann’s decision letter to Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas is available for review here. As is her practice, District Attorney McCann will hold a virtual community meeting to discuss this incident and her conclusions on Wednesday, August 9 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. The public is invited to join this online meeting that will take place over Microsoft Teams by clicking here or by using this QR Code.
About the Denver DA’s Office:
Our mission is to professionally and competently prosecute crimes and investigate criminal activity on behalf of the people of the State of Colorado and to seek equal justice for all in the criminal justice system. Our mission includes the prevention and deterrence of crimes, support of the well-being of victims, participation in the community, transparency, accountability, and improvement of the criminal justice system to provide fair alternatives to incarceration in appropriate cases.