A barricaded gunman in Douglas County, Colorado, killed a sheriff’s deputy and wounded four others in an early Saturday morning ambush that saw the shooter fire over 100 rounds before he was killed by return fire.
Officers were responding to a noise complaint at the Copper Canyon Apartments in Highlands Ranch just outside of Denver at around 5:15 am local time when the shooting occurred, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said during a press conference.
“Almost immediately he began shooting,” he said. “They were all shot very quickly. It was more of an ambush attack on our officers. They knew we were coming.”
The deputies were led into an apartment by one man, but another man in a bedroom began shooting as soon as they were inside, the New York Times reported. While all five officers were wearing body armor, they were hit in unprotected areas and forced to crawl out of the apartment to safety.
Deputy Zackari Parrish, a 29-year-old father-of-two, was killed in the ambush. The other four deputies were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, while two civilians who were also caught in the crossfire also sustained injuries that were described as non-life-threatening.
The shootout prompted police to dispatch a well-armed team of officers about two hours later. They cordoned off the area, installed snipers on the roof, and engaged in a shootout that led to the suspect getting killed after he barricaded himself in the bedroom.
Spurlock remembered Parrish as an honorable officer who treasured his job.
“This is a tragic day,” he said. “Zack was a good kid, a smiling kid, eager to work, eager to serve. His wife told me he loved this job, loved coming to work each day.”
“When I held her hand and looked in her eyes, I could see her life was over,” Spurlock added, growing emotional.