Denver, CO – A veteran Denver police officer was shot multiple times as he was sitting in his patrol car outside a Denver hotel early Wednesday morning.
The attack occurred outside the Quality Inn hotel near North Zuni Street and Speer Boulevard at approximately 4 a.m. on June 7, The Denver Post reported.
Denver Police Department (DPD) Chief Ron Thomas said the officer was parked outside the hotel and sitting in his patrol vehicle when he spotted a man walking into the hotel, according to KUSA.
Chief Thomas told reporters the man apparently inquired about getting a room, then walked back out a few moments later, The Denver Post reported.
He then walked up to the police car and began shooting at the veteran officer from the passenger side before heading over to the driver’s side and firing off additional rounds, according to the chief.
Despite being shot at least three times, the officer was able to scramble out of his patrol vehicle and returned fire, The Denver Post reported.
“He was able to exit the vehicle on the driver’s side, seek cover and then begin returning fire,” Chief Thomas said, according to KUSA. “There was then an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and the officer. The officer continued to fire until the suspect went down.”
The gunman was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The injured officer was rushed to Denver Health Medical Center, where doctors determined his wounds were non-life threatening, The Denver Post reported.
Chief Thomas said the unnamed officer “is in some significant discomfort,” but that his ballistic vest stopped the rounds from causing more damage.
“I think it saved this officer’s life,” the chief said, according to WUSA. “I think that he would say the very same thing.”
The wounded hero was recovering in the hospital with his family by his side on Wednesday, The Denver Post reported.
He has been with the DPD for at least 10 years, according to KUSA.
The motive for the unprovoked attack on the officer is unclear.
The suspect’s identity was not immediately released.
Police said the incident may have been captured by the hotel’s security cameras, The Denver Post reported.
The Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and DPD homicide investigators are handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting.
🚨 One Denver officer was shot and a suspect is dead after an officer involved shooting near Speer & Zuni. People in the area say they heard at least 14 shots around 4:15 am.
Right now we’re waiting on more details from PD — Heavy police presence, avoid the area if you can. pic.twitter.com/XhxXMD2fdA
— Lisa D'Souza (@lisa__dsouza) June 7, 2023
ALERT: #DPD is investigating an officer involved shooting in the 2600 block of N Zuni St. 1 DPD officer and 1 suspect shot, both transported. Officer received non-life threatening gunshot wound, Suspect is deceased. Investigation is ongoing. Updates to be posted here. #Denver pic.twitter.com/4Wt103wgYU
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) June 7, 2023
🚨 OFFICER DOWN: Please pray for the Denver Police Officer who was #Ambushed and shot shot multiple times while sitting in his patrol car. Thankfully, the officer managed to return fire and fatally shoot the suspect.
The blatant, out-of-control violence against the men and… pic.twitter.com/B6X4fuPn0s
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) June 7, 2023
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