One Colorado deputy was killed and four others injured when responding to a domestic disturbance call near Denver on Sunday. Two civilians were also shot, though it is currently unclear whether they were hit during a shootout with police, or if the suspect opened fire on them prior to the deputies arriving on the scene. According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect was killed in the exchange of gunfire.

The deputies were responding to a shots-fired call in the Copper Canyon apartment complex in Douglas County, Colorado early Sunday morning when the incident began. Details are limited at this time, but it appears the five deputies were approaching the apartment when the suspect opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, striking all five in quick succession and killing Deputy Zack Parrish.

The other wounded deputies reportedly tried to pull him from the line of fire, but were unable to as a result of their own injuries. They were forced to crawl back to cover and leave Parrish behind until backup arrived.

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,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said. “He knew we were coming and we obviously let him know that we were there.”

“His wife told me today that he loved this job more than he had loved any job he ever had,” the sheriff said. Parish was 29 years old, a husband and father. He had only been a part of the Sheriff’s department for seven months.

Local law enforcement formed a large memorial procession for the fallen deputy, escorting his body from the hospital where he was pronounced dead to the county coroner’s office.

The four injured officers, whose ages ranged from 28 to 41, have not yet been identified, but they are listed in stable condition. The two civilian’s injuries were characterized as “non life threatening.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper issued a statement regarding the incident on Sunday, saying “our thoughts and prayers” were with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the family and friends of Deputy Parrish.

We can only imagine the depth of grief they are experiencing. We also hope for a speedy recovery for the Douglas County deputies and the Castle Rock police officer injured in the incident, as well as the residents who also were affected.”

He added, “The call to protect and serve too often leads to this ultimate sacrifice. We are grateful for the service of Deputy Parrish, his fellow deputies, and that of the Castle Rock police officer. We pray for their and their families’ strength and resolve in the days and months ahead.”


Image courtesy of the Associated Press