Black Man Shot & Killed By Police While Holding Marker Mistaken For Knife

Photo: Getty Images

A Denver police officer fatally shot a Black man while he was holding a marker that investigators said she thought was a knife.

Body camera footage of the incident shows Brandon Cole, 36, raising a black marker to his chest and lunging at the officer, who hasn't been identified, before being shot twice on August 5, per NBC News.

“This is a tremendous tragedy,” Chief Ron Thomas said in a statement on Monday (August 14).

The shooting unfolded after a neighbor called 911 to report an alleged domestic violence incident involving Cole, his wife, and his teenage son. According to Police Cmdr. Matt Clark, the neighbor said the wife may have been pushed out of her wheelchair and Cole was “going after” his son.

When officers arrived at the scene, the wife was sitting on the street next to a wheelchair. "Don’t, don’t pull your gun out on my husband, please,” the woman said in body camera footage.

Cole began shouting and was tased as he approached officers. The one probe from the stun gun didn't prevent Cole from charging at the officer who fatally shot him, according to authorities.

“You can see in the video that when she finally deploys her duty weapon, the person is so close to her that the view of the young child and other person are not even clear to her,” Thomas said. “Certainly that was a consideration, but there was not much time to act before she was overrun by that individual.”

The Denver District Attorney’s Office will determine if the officer's actions were justifiable.

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