LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4/AP) — Three schools in Loveland were put on lockdown and residents were evacuated after police received a tip about the location of a suspect or suspects in a shooting the left a police officer in the intensive care unit.
Thompson Valley High School, Walt Clarke Middle School and Sarah Miller Elementary School were all placed on lockdown Monday afternoon.
Shortly before 5 p.m. CBS4 learned the search came up empty after officers executed a search warrant at a home on Teri Drive. Police wouldn’t say what the tip was that led them to the home.
Authorities say Officer Garret Osilka, who was shot and wounded during a nighttime traffic stop, is in intensive care at a local hospital, but he is expected to survive.
Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Halloran said Monday officers found a vehicle early Monday and they are searching for at least two suspects.
Halloran says that shortly before 8 p.m. Osilka said over his radio that shots had been fired as he made a traffic stop.
Halloran says Osilka returned fire. It’s not known if a suspect was hit, but hospitals have been notified to be on the lookout for someone with a gunshot wound.
“It was just a couple seconds later and it was ‘pop, pop, pop, pop,’ ” a witness said.
“I had my hand on the door as the first shot went off and looked back at them for a second, peaked out the door just in time to see Officer Osilka returning fire,” said witness Logan Ferguson, who helped Osilka after he was shot. “The gun that he got shot with was a lot louder than his gun.”
It was dark at the time, so witnesses, including Ferguson, did not get a look at who shot the officer, so police don’t have a detailed description of the suspects.
Osilka was struck in the chest but was wearing a bullet-proof vest. His injuries are due to the force and energy of the shot.
“When he finally did get on the ground he started unbuttoning his shirt and vest,” Ferguson said. “I saw blood coming from his mouth.”
Earlier Monday investigators were at the scene trying to re-create what happened.
Osilka, 36, was hired by the Loveland Police Department in June of 2012. He had been an officer in Jacksonville, Fla. prior to that. He’s married has three children and lives in Loveland.
Amber Eggers came to the scene and told CBS4 Osilka is also a part-time real estate broker and she works with him at ERA Herman Group in Fort Collins.
“It’s very sad to have a police officer shot at gunpoint knowing that he was just doing his job to protect the people,” Eggers said. “He got shot doing what he was supposed to be doing.”
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