Five police officers were shot — and one officer has died — early Sunday in what law enforcement officials believe was an “ambush style” attack.
The slain officer was identified as Zackari Parrish, 29, who was one of four Douglas County sheriff’s deputies who responded to a call at the Copper Canyon Apartments in Highlands Ranch, Colo., at about 5:15 a.m. local time.
The gunman also shot two civilians, and was later killed in a firefight with police.
Within less than 45 minutes the unidentified suspect shot all four lawmen before barricading himself in the apartment, police said.
Cops were initially called to the apartment over a domestic disturbance complaint, but later determined it was two roommates — one of whom had been making a lot of noise, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.
The four deputies, who ranged in age from 28 to 32, were conducting interviews when the gunman began shooting.
A procession of police vehicles escort the hearse carrying the body of the deputy killed in a domestic disturbance in Highlands Ranch, Colo.
“I do know that all of them were shot very, very quickly,” Spurlock said. “They all went down almost within seconds of each other. It was more of an ambush-type attack on our officers.”
What set the gunman off remains unclear, and cops were working to confirm what type of rifle he used in the shooting.
The wounded deputies unsuccessfully tried to recover Parrish, who was unconscious after being hit, Spurlock said.
They were able to get to safety, the sheriff added, but Parrish’s body was left inside the apartment with the gunman.
Law enforcement from the surrounding area converged on the scene. A reporter with local ABC affiliate tweeted the sound of gunshots could be heard in the distance at around 7 a.m.
The suspect, whose identity hasn’t yet been confirmed by the coroner’s officer, fired more than 100 rounds before a joint task force entered the apartment at about 7:30 a.m. local time.
Parrish’s body was recovered shortly before the gunman was neutralized.
Authorities have an idea of who the suspect is. If the coroner confirms their belief, Spurlock said, the suspect has had several run-ins with the law.
A police officer with the Castle Rock Police Department who took part in the raid was wound.
All four wounded officers are in stable condition, the Douglas County sheriff said.
Nick Frydrychowski (l.) watches the procession of police vehicles escorting the hearse.
Parrish was a married father of two “very young” children who joined the sheriff’s office seven months ago. He previously spent about two years on the force in Castle Rock.
“Zack was a good kid,” Spurlock said. “His wife told me that he loved this job more than any job he ever had.”
Spurlock said it’ll likely take several days before investigators figure out what exactly happened.
The officers were wearing body cameras, he said, and are trained to assume all suspects are armed.
“This is Colorado,” he said. “Everybody has a gun.”
Neither of the wounded civilians lived inside the apartment with the gunman, Spurlock said. His roommate has been cooperating with police.
Both were treated at Sky Ridge Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, the sheriff said, as was the wounded Castle Rock police officer.
The four deputies were taken to Littleton Adventist Hospital. Parrish’s body was later removed from the facility, and a police procession escorted it to the coroner’s office.
Firefighters were seen standing atop their truck saluting the procession as it went by.
Spurlock choked up recalling how distraught he, his colleagues and Parrish’s widow were over the lawman’s death.
“I could see in her eyes her life was over,” he said. “It was very difficult today to go see Zack for the last time.”
The FBI’s field office in Denver said it’s following the situation and has offered to help however possible.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our law enforcement partners and all those impacted by today’s senseless act of violence,” the agency branch tweeted.
President Trump also offered his condolences to the Douglas County Sheriff’s office and its loved ones.
“We love our police and law enforcement – God Bless them all! #LESM,” he tweeted, using the hashtag common for “Law Enforcement Social Media.”
Source: Ny Daily News