Lincoln County, CO – Officials released bodycam video on Wednesday of the ambush shooting of Lincoln County Deputy Michael Hutton that showed the law enforcement officer never had a chance to react to the threat (video below).
The incident occurred at about 3 a.m. on May 20 near mile marker 386 on Highway 40 near Hugo when Deputy Hutton responded to a 911 call about somebody stealing out of parked tractor trailers, KUSA reported.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) said a professional truck driver who was parked on the side of the road with other tractor trailers woke up when he heard noises and then saw a man “actively” stealing from the back of one of the trucks.
Bodycam video from the scene showed Deputy Hutton arrived at the spot where the trucks were parked and made contact with the man who had reported the theft, KUSA reported.
The truck driver explained that if the seals had been removed from the doors then somebody had been inside them.
They started walking toward the trucks as they talked and a split second later, gunfire erupted, the video showed.
LCSO said Deputy Hutton was shot 45 seconds after he got out of his patrol vehicle, according to KUSA.
“Within seconds of being out of his car and investigating this theft, he was hit with a hail of gunfire and was hit multiple times,” Lincoln County Sheriff’s Captain Michael Yowell told reporters at press conference the day of the shooting, according to the Broomfield Enterprise.
The gunman was later identified as 25-year-old Tristin Ensinger from Ohio, KUSA reported.
Bodycam video showed Ensinger was hiding inside one of the trucks and when the deputy approached the open doors, he started shooting.
The deputy was shot in the arm, hand, and a torso, with one of the bullets penetrating a lung.
“Well, there we go, Mike,” Deputy Hutton said to himself in the video as he struggled to take cover in a ditch after he was wounded.
Officials released audio of Deputy Hutton’s radio traffic after he was shot.
The video showed the dispatcher asking the deputy for his status.
“Everybody use caution. I’m down,” he told the dispatcher.
Deputy Hutton advised Lincoln County Communications that he’d been shot about three times and was losing blood quickly.
“I’ve got Airlife heading your way sir. You’ve got backup coming. Hang in there,” the dispatcher told the wounded hero.
LCSO said backup arrived on the scene 21 minutes after the deputy was shot, KUSA reported.
Deputy Hutton was transported to Lincoln Health and stabilized and then airlifted to a trauma center in Denver.
The gunman’s body was located in a field not far from where he shot the deputy, KUSA reported.
Officials said Ensinger, who was wanted for a murder he’d committed a few days earlier in Ohio, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators determined that he had planned his ambush on law enforcement, KUSA reported.
Deputy Hutton has been released from the hospital and is in therapy but LCSO said he expected to be returned to full duty eventually.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. The shooting happens around the 1:50 mark. WARNING – Graphic Content: