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Suspect In State Trooper Shooting Has Long, Violent Criminal History

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GLENWOOD CANYON, Colo. (CBS4) – A state trooper remained in critical condition after being shot on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. The suspected gunman has a long and violent criminal history.

Another trooper shot and killed Thomas Ornelas after he opened fire on Colorado State Patrol Trooper Eugene Hofaker.

Eugene Hofacker (credit: Colorado State Patrol)

Eugene Hofacker (credit: Colorado State Patrol)

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said two state troopers were traveling in the same vehicle to a training event in Glenwood Springs when they stopped to assist a motorist who had pulled over to the shoulder.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“A couple of State Patrol troopers were on their way to Glenwood Springs and apparently stopped a vehicle on a motorist assist,” Vallario said. “Something occurred where the driver shot one of the troopers who was in contact with him … second trooper on scene returned fire and the suspect was shot and killed.”

Vallario said the trooper who approached the vehicle on the driver’s side was the trooper who was shot. He said they are alive because they were together.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

It wasn’t a routine shift for either trooper involved. A number of officers with the Colorado State Patrol were on their way to Glenwood Springs for evidence training.

“There were several troopers on the way to training and literally within seconds, if not moments, after that they were able to secure the scene. They were able to administer first aid,” said Vallario.

Authorities are not releasing the name of the officer who fired the deadly shots on Ornelas.

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