A 35-year-old man who was shot and killed by Pueblo law officers late Sunday was identified Tuesday by the Pueblo County coroner.
Joshua Russell, of Pueblo was shot by law enforcement after a carjacking, a short pursuit and the perpetrator’s alleged attempt to steal two more cars along U.S. Highway 50. One of those cars was driven by an off-duty Pueblo County sheriff’s deputy.
Police were called to the scene of a carjacking at a convenience store in the 3500 block of North Elizabeth Street about 10 p.m. Sunday.
During an investigation, police later located the stolen 2004 Dodge truck in the general area near the former North Side Kmart.
While officers were investigating the alleged carjacking, police made contact with Russell and an unidentified woman. Police Sgt. Franklyn Ortega noted that Russell did not fit the witness’ description of the person who allegedly stole the Dodge truck from the convenience store.
As they talked about the carjacking, Russell then fled alone in a black Cadillac Escalade. The unidentified woman was being interviewed by police, Ortega said.
Ortega said Russell damaged the front of the Escalade at a lingerie shop next to the convenience store where the initial carjacking took place, then drove north to U.S. Highway 50.
Russell then drove west on U.S. Highway 50, where his car became immobile in front of an AT&T store on the 800 block of U.S. 50 Highway West.
Ortega said Russell, who was armed with an “AR-style rifle,” tried to carjack two vehicles on the highway.
One of the vehicles that he attempted to carjack was a white Dodge car driven by an off-duty Pueblo County sheriff’s deputy, who had just finished a shift. The deputy engaged the suspect and fired at him. A Pueblo police officer arrived on the scene as the man was attempting to carjack the deputy’s vehicle. That officer also fired at Russell.
Police said several rounds were fired at Russell, who died at the scene.
No officers were injured. The police officer and the sheriff’s deputy were placed on paid administrative leave as part of normal procedures in such shootings.
The 10th Judicial District Attorney’s Critical Incident Team and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation are investigating, which is normal protocol in a police shooting.
Police on Tuesday, still were looking for the driver of the car, which drove off after Russell attempted to carjack it. They ask that person to contact 719-553-2502 or Detective Jose Medina at 719-320-6006
Last year, there were seven police-involved shootings. Four incidents were fatal. One case was found to have involved justified use of force. Also in 2019, a Pueblo County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man accused of driving at another peace officer with a car, bringing the countywide total to eight.