Deputy Justified in Firing ‘1 in a Billion’ Shot Into Suspect’s Gun Barrel

By Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
July 15, 2016 Updated: July 15, 2016

Arapahoe County prosecutors announced on July 13 that an off-duty Colorado sheriff’s deputy was cleared of charges following his shooting an alleged assailant in an attempted robbery incident.

The deputy fired a bullet straight down the barrel of a suspect’s gun, which police called “one in a billion” shot.

According to The Aurora Sentinel in suburban Denver, Deputy Jose Marquez was shot in the shoulder and abdomen on Jan. 26 in an apartment parking lot on East Adriatic Dr. near Rangeview High School.

Marquez told investigators that he was visiting his girlfriend at her apartment when he went outside to take something from his car. As he was walking back, he saw two young men wearing face masks. 

One of the suspects told him to “give it up,” Marquez said, adding that they fired their weapons first.

Marquez shot back at the suspects. While one of them got away, the other was wounded in the leg and later arrested, police said. Prosecutors identified the wounded suspect as Jhalil Meshesha.

In a letter to Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader and Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz, Arapahoe County Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman justified Marquez’s actions. 

“Deputy Marquez reasonably believed that his life was in danger and acted reasonably in shooting Meshesha, and that he used an appropriate level of physical force. I further find that Deputy Marquez’s actions were justified and he did not violate Colorado law,” the letter said.

Since the January incident, Mark Techmeyer, a spokesman for the Jefferson County sheriff’s office, said Marquez’s wounds have not permitted him to return to work.