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Chase That Left Denver Police Officer Shot, 1 Suspect Dead Started In Thornton

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The suspects' pickup truck (credit: CBS)

The suspects’ pickup truck (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- A Denver police officer is recovering from a gunshot wound to the shoulder after being shot during a chase that left one suspect dead and three other suspects injured.

The chase likely started after a man called police after he said he had a gun pulled on him in front of his Thornton home.

“It all started at four o’clock when one of my grandbabies died,” said the man who claimed to be the target of the man who pulled a gun on him.

He was too afraid to show his face on camera or give his name. He said his four-month old step-granddaughter died in his care. The child’s father confronted him about it and had a gun.

“We walked in the street. He squred off of me and said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to smoke you. I’m just going to smoke you.’ He pulled out a gun. He tried to pull the trigger but the clip was still, it was on safety so it didn’t go off,” said the man.

He watched as the suspect took off from the neighborhood in a red Dodge pickup. He told police what happened and a vehicle matching that description was later spotted in Denver.

“We had officers involved in a vehicle pursuit in the area. During the course of that pursuit one of the suspects in the suspect vehicle produced a weapon and fired a shot,” said Denver Police Detective John White.

That vehicle eventually crashed near 39th and Osage Street.

Police arrested four people involved, Michael Valdez, Chuck Montoya, Jude Montoya and Alyssa Moralez. A fifth suspect died at the scene.

“I’m already feeling bad that I just lost a kid but that’s like compounding the situation,” said the victim.

It is not clear who shot Sgt. Robert Motika. He is expected to recover from the gunshot wound.

Police are still investigating whether one of the suspects pulled a gun on the man from Thornton. They said the investigation continues.

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