Denver Man Shot, Killed in Undercover Drug Operationby Phillip Smith
Jul. 07, 2014
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A Denver man was shot and killed during an undercover drug investigation last Wednesday afternoon. Joseph Valverde, 32, becomes the 24th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
According to the Denver Post, citing Denver Police Chief Robert White, Valverde was shot and killed in the parking lot of Overland Pond Park. White said that when uniformed Denver police officers arrived to arrest Valverde, he pulled a gun. An officer then opened fire, striking Valverde.
White said Valverde threatened officers, but did not fire his weapon. He was pronounced dead later at a local hospital.
Denver 9 News, which first named the victim, reported that Valverde was shot by a SWAT team member, that police sources said the bust involved "a significant amount of cocaine" and that "law enforcement believed the suspect was very violent and dangerous."
In a separate story, Denver 9 News reported that Valverde had prior convictions for drug possession, assault, weapons charges, and criminal mischief.