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Police explain officer-involved shootings, residents react

Published On: Dec 27 2012 02:01:06 PM CST

Police explain what prompts officers to shoot suspects, and residents react.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Three men have died this month in separate shootings involving police officers. And southern Colorado residents tell KRDO NEWSCHANNEL13, while it's unfortunate, they understand officers' decision-making.

The first officer-involved shooting this month took place in Colorado Springs, when the driver of a stolen car refused to pull over, crashed into police cars, then took off running.

The second incident was in Widefield. An armed and wanted fugitive rammed his car into police cars.

The third shooting happened in Pueblo. A man menaced an officer with a gun, ran away, then pointed his gun at the officer.

In all instances, the suspects were killed.

"It's just sad. You don't want to see someone lose their life because they made a mistake and did something wrong," said Sam Giaffoglione, a Colorado Springs resident. "But unfortunately, if the officer has to do that to protect themselves, I mean, you have to do what you have to do."

In a phone interview about the Pueblo shooting, Sgt. Eric Gonzales said there are always different scenarios, and many things go into play. But he explained generally why officers are prompted to shoot.

"Basically, when you're threatened with a life or limb," he said. "Whether it's somebody else or yourself."

Residents said they understand.

"They're trained professionals. They put their lives at risk every day to protect us," Giaffoglione said. "And if they have to do it to protect themselves and those around them, you have to do it. "

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