DENVER (CBS4) – A police officer is recovering after being shot in the shoulder during a run-in with five suspected criminals on Wednesday in northwest Denver.
Four of those suspects are in custody. One male suspect was killed.
The incidents on Wednesday afternoon included a car wreck involving a police cruiser at Colfax and Kalamath and a chase that ended at Columbus Park near 39th and Osage. One witness told CBS4 he saw “a speeding vehicle with a flat tire with a passenger hanging out the window, shooting at police who were chasing him.”
The suspects were stopped by Denver officers at 34th and Mariposa about 3:30 p.m. It was then that Sgt. Robert Motika was shot in the shoulder.
Motika, who is expected to make a full recovery, was visited by Denver’s mayor in the hospital in the evening. Mayor Michael Hancock said his family is “grateful that he’s okay.”
“He’s in good spirits,” Denver Police Chief Robert White said.
The suspects were wanted for a string of crimes in Adams County that White described as a “mini crime spree.”
Witnesses described to CBS4 a very chaotic scene in the afternoon.
“Thirty cop cars just come tearing down Osage after them. (They were) throwing stuff out of the back of the truck at the cop cars. There were more shots fire. It was just wild,” said Clay Schmitt.
“My back window got shot out, so I immediately got out and took cover,” another witness said.
“They came barreling through here and they hit those two cars. They had a right rear flat tire, and they hit that and they kept going, so I got out of the way,” said witness Darrell Crespin.
Codey Sias, who lives near where the shooting happened, said he heard lots of commotion.
“They were chasing someone around the corner because I heard it, this corner, that corner, that corner then all of a sudden they ended up there about a block away and then all of the sudden from there I heard a bunch of gunshots go off,” Sias said.
Several schools were on lockdown while SWAT teams searched for one of the suspects. That person was captured in the evening at an undisclosed location.
On Wednesday night police described the health status of the suspects who were injured as follows:
– One suspect died at the scene but it’s not clear how the person died.
– Another was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after they were attacked by a K-9 unit.
– Another suspect was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with gunshot wounds.
– Another female suspect was also rushed to the hospital with injuries consistent with a car crash.