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Police ID man shot by officers outside Stapleton Walmart as John Clark, child sex assault suspect

3-20-15 Colorado:

DENVER - Denver Police say the man shot by officers in the parking lot of a Walmart store at Stapleton Friday morning is a sex offender, who failed to appear for his sentencing.

John Thomas Clark, 42, was arrested March 13, 2013 and charged with two counts of Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust. One of the counts related to a pattern of assault. He was also charged with Aggravated Incest, three counts of being a Habitual Criminal, Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Child Abuse/Neglect.

Court documents allege that the offenses occurred between May 1, 2005 and September 1, 2010.

In February of 2014, Thomas pleaded not guilty to the Sex Assault Charges. In January of 2015, he pleaded guilty to the Sexual Exploitation and Child Abuse charges.

His sentencing was scheduled for March 13, but he failed to show.

Police say Clark struggled with police and was shot just before 11 a.m. in a parking lot near 7800 Smith Road.

"We received a call on a wanted party who was possibly suicidal," said Denver Police Department spokeswoman Raquel Lopez. "Officers did approach him, a struggle ensued. OC (pepper) spray was deployed, and in the midst of the struggle, shots were fired."

When asked if there was an exchange of gunfire, Lopez said, "That's under investigation."

Several passersby questioned whether officers were justified in shooting Clark, but a witness, who lives in a halfway house nearby, told 7NEWS, off camera, that he heard officers order the suspect to get out of his car several times and the suspect refused.

He said he was "amazed that with as many officers as there were, the suspect didn't comply."

Lopez said that several officers were responding to the scene and that one was injured in a two car collision at Central Park Boulevard and I-70. ..Source.. by Lance Hernandez, Phil Tenser

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