Family of victim questions shooting

Posted at: 03/06/2013 10:37 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Parrish Denison
Photo: Parrish Denison

The family of the man who was shot and killed by APD officers Tuesday night says he didn’t have to die.

They don’t dispute that he may have broken the law, but are upset about how police handled the situation.

The family admits Parrish Denison, or Duke as they call him, has a long criminal record. But, they say he was not a violent man and they don’t believe he posed a threat to officers as he tried to run from them.

Denison’s mother, sister, brother and son all came down from Farmington Wednesday after they heard he may have been involved in the shooting.

His mother, Charlotte, tells KOB Eyewitness News 4 they were told they were not allowed to see the body or I.D. him. However, APD Chief Ray Schultz said in a news conference Wednesday that they were waiting on the family to positively identify the man.

What’s even more upsetting to this family is how the incident went down. They say they have questions as to why he was ever shot at.

“Maybe he didn't have to die.  He wasn't shooting at them. I don't think that he would have shot at them,” Denison’s sister Sunny said.

Denison’s son Beau added, “If they would have released the dogs, he would have gotten bit up a little bit but he would have surrendered right there and dropped, I know my Dad.  I know my Dad.  He's never been violent.  And I'd rather him have a few bite marks than be dead right now.”

They also say he did have tattoos but was never involved in gangs.

KOB looked up his criminal history and found in the past 20 years he had several run-ins with authorities, all in San Juan County where he’s from.