LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – A Longmont police officer is being hailed for being calm under fire after an overnight incident in which a suspect began firing at him with a semiautomatic rifle.
Just after 2 a.m. the 36-year-old officer pulled over a driver, identified as Jonathon Shank, 28, of Longmont, for allegedly not having his headlights on. The suspect then pulled his car into a parking lot at 210 Ken Pratt Boulevard.
Police said Shank then pulled out an AR-15 style rifle and allegedly fired multiple rounds at the officer. The officer shot back with his handgun, hitting the suspect three times.
“He was under extreme fire pressure from this suspect,” said Longmont police spokesman Jeff Satur. “The suspect exited, he had a rifle. The officer was armed with his handgun and had to react to that. It is just an extremely difficult situation and he came out and he survived it and he is doing well.”
Shank was described as being in critical condition at the hospital later in the morning. He was first taken to Longmont United Hospital and then he was airlifted to Denver Health Medical Center.
The unidentified officer, a four-year-veteran of the department, was not hurt. He has been placed on leave while investigators study the scene of the incident.
CBS4 video of the scene showed the officer’s police cruiser with windows shot out and with bullet holes in the windshield.
Satur confirmed to CBS4 investigators searched the Shank’s home in the 1300 block of South Emery Street and found other weapons and ammunition. He didn’t disclose what exactly they were or how many. He said there were no explosives found. Other items, such as computers, were also removed for investigation.
According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Shank has no criminal background.
The team that is investigating includes detectives from Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and police from Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville and the Colorado State Patrol, along with advisers from the district attorney’s office.