Gunman Kills 1, Injures 6 in Colorado Ambush
A man fired more than 100 rounds at sheriff’s deputies in Colorado early Sunday, killing one officer and injuring four others and two civilians before being fatally shot himself.
- By Jessica Davis
- Jan 03, 2018
A man fired more than 100 rounds at sheriff’s deputies in Colorado early Sunday, killing one officer and injuring four others and two civilians before being fatally shot himself. Authorities called the incident, which took place at an apartment complex in Highland Ranch, Colorado, an ambush.
The incident occurred at about 5:15 a.m. at an apartment that authorities had already visited four hours prior to address a noise complaint. Deputies returned in response to reports of a disturbance at the home and were let in by a male tenant who lived with the gunman.
The gunman had barricaded himself in a bedroom and deputies came under fire almost immediately after trying to talk to him, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.
"I do know that all of them were shot very, very quickly. They all went down almost within seconds of each other, so it was more of an ambush type of attack on our officers," Spurlock said. "He knew we were coming and we obviously let him know that we were there."
The wounded deputies tried to pull the fallen officer out of the line of further gunfire but as they were injured themselves, they were only able to “crawl to safety,” Spurlock said. The officers were all wearing bulletproof vests but somehow the “rounds struck them outside where the vests cover”.
The three deputies and one police officer injured were listed in stable condition Monday. Two civilians in neighboring apartments were shot during the standoff but the injuries were not life-threatening.
Spurlock said part of the investigation will include determining how many weapons the suspect used and whether they legally belonged to him, though Spurlock added that authorities had determined he had used a rifle.
The suspect was later killed in an exchange of gunfire with SWAT. Spurlock said the suspect had no criminal history but had a history of encounters with law enforcement.
Colorado authorities were made aware of the gunman after being contacted by Wyoming College of Law campus police to warn them about threatening Facebook posts he’d made. The suspect, a former student, had posted many threatening and violent rants about professors at the school.
In a Nov. 6 email, Assistant College of Law Dean Lindsay Hoyt told students to notify campus police if they spotted him or his car near campus. In addition, security on campus was increased for several days.
The suspect had also posted angry videos criticizing Colorado law enforcement officers and threatening his partner.
The exact motive of the gunman is not known. He reportedly live-streamed the incident on Periscope after broadcasting events earlier in the evening, including his call to 911 that brought authorities to his apartment for the second time that night.