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Fleeing Inmate Shot, Killed At Imaging Clinic

October 13, 2011
Written by: , Filed in: Diagnostic Imaging, Practice Management
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His handcuffs removed for an MRI, a jail inmate bolted for freedom through a Denver-area imaging clinic full of patients. He made it almost to the front door before being fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy.

It happened at 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday at Advanced Medical Imaging in Golden, Colorado. Authorities said the inmate, Jesus Octavio Aguilar, 28, had recently pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and kidnapping and faced a possible life sentence.

Aguilar had been taken from the Jefferson County Detention Facility to the clinic, less than a mile away, for an MRI, apparently related to an injury. The deputy fired a single shot. Aguilar was then taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, where he was pronounced dead, according to KMGH-TV, Channel 7 (known as 7NEWS), in Denver.

Asked whether the use of force was appropriate, Jefferson County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jackie Kelley said:

I have to tell you that the JeffCo Sheriff’s Office is standing by the decision that our deputy made yesterday in wanting to stop that threat. He was fully aware that this inmate had committed a variety of very serious offenses.

The Jefferson County Critical Incident Response Team, which consists of investigators from several law-enforcement agencies, was investigating the shooting. Authorities did not release the name of the deputy.

The Denver Post reported that Aguilar’s criminal record goes back to 2001.

The sheriff’s office did say that some procedures, such as taking inmates for treatment at public medical facilities during normal business hours, might need rethinking.

“And I suspect that there will be changes,” Kelley said. “Everything is on the table, and we will do better.”

The clinic is also reviewing its procedures and policies, said Sue Sticka, its director of operations. “This is the first violent incident in over 20 years of working with the Jefferson County detention center,” she said.

Metal handcuffs would have to be removed for an MRI, of course. However, there are alternative means of restraining prisoners. The sheriff’s office told 7NEWS that it may start using plastic restraints in such cases—and may consider doing more treatments in-house instead of transporting inmates to public facilities.

Related seminar: Musculoskeletal MRI

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