DENVER (AP/CBS4) — A man shot and wounded two Lakewood police officers Saturday night when they went to his residence to check on his welfare, authorities said.
The injured female and male officers returned fire, wounding the gunman and he was arrested following the shooting a few miles west of downtown Denver.
Lakewood police spokesman Sgt. Randy McNitt said all three were hospitalized at St. Anthony Hospital with injuries that aren’t considered life-threatening.
McNitt said the officers’ bullet-proof vests “played a key role” in saving their lives.
The violence erupted around 10 p.m. when the two were sent to a residence to check on the man after his wife told police he was despondent and was worried about him.
“He had indicated to his wife that something along the lines of that he was tired of living and didn’t want to go on,” Steve Davis with Lakewood police said.
McNitt said that as the police arrived, the suspect, who is in his 50s, came outside and opened fire with a handgun.
“The first thing I thought was, when you hear a cop down, I immediately think of the worst,” said Mike Randolph, who heard the shooting. “I couldn’t believe it was happening in our neighborhood.”
There was no further information on the extent of the injuries following the exchange of gunfire. No names were released.
“If there is any good news to tell you it is that everyone’s injuries appear to be non-life-threatening,” Davis said.
Police also searched the man’s home to see if he had weapons other than the handgun.
The residence was located near the intersection of West Jewell Avenue and South Kipling Street.
Police say the investigation lasted through the night and the intersection was closed until morning. A critical response team spent Sunday in the neighborhood gathering evidence.
Neighbors said they were a bit confused because of all the fireworks in the area.
“These men and women defend our streets, I can’t think of anything bad happening to them,” Lakewood resident Rianne Mooney said. “It’s a shame that something did happen, and it’s unfortunate.”
At least 14 police vehicles and five emergency vehicles, as well as vehicles from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the shooting.
– By Sadie Gurman, AP Writer
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