DENVER (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire on sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of a loud disturbance at an apartment complex near Denver on Sunday morning, killing one officer before the suspect was shot and killed, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Four other deputies and two civilians were shot and wounded by the unidentified suspect, who had had numerous run-ins with law enforcement, according to Sheriff Tony Spurlock. It was not immediately clear why the incident had escalated, Spurlock said.
“All of them were shot very, very quickly and they all went down almost within seconds of each other,” Spurlock told reporters at a news conference, calling it an “ambush-type” attack.
President Donald Trump said on Twitter: “My deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible shooting in Douglas County @dcsheriff, and their families.”
The deputies responded to a complaint at a suburban apartment complex in Douglas County, about 16 miles south of Denver, shortly after 5 a.m. MST (noon GMT), Spurlock said.
Immediately after the five officers entered the apartment, the suspect, who was in a bedroom, began firing, killing Deputy Zackari Parrish, 29, and injuring the four others.
“When he was shot and went down, the other officers went down right around him and they tried to pull him out, but were unable to because of their injuries,” Spurlock said. Parrish had been on the force for only seven months.
Police initially thought the call was about domestic violence but it turned out to be complaint of a loud disturbance in the apartment, the sheriff said.
The suspect, who Spurlock believed was in the apartment with at least one other person, fired more than 100 rounds before he was shot by police.
The other injured officers were identified as Mike Doyle, 28; Taylor Davis, 30; Jeffrey Pelle, 32, and Tom O‘Donnell 31. They were taken to local hospitals and were in stable condition.
Pelle, who underwent emergency surgery, is the son of Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, according to an online statement from the family.
The identities of the two injured civilians were not immediately disclosed, but Spurlock said he believed they are residents from other apartments. Their injuries were not life- threatening, he said.
The apartment complex, in Highlands Ranch, an affluent suburban community near Littleton, is described on its website as “one of the friendliest apartments” in the area.
Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus and Frank McGurty in New York and Roberta Rampton in Washington D.C.; Writing by Gina Cherelus and Frank McGurty; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe