By Stan Bush

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Aurora police say an officer was attacked early Monday morning while trying to assist what appeared to be a stranded driver.

The officer was allegedly attacked by a stranded motorist from behind. Police say the officer was struck in the head with a sharp object.

“This was an unprovoked attack and I feel comfortable saying this was an attempted murder on my officer,” said Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz.

The suspect allegedly stole the officer’s vehicle and drove East on Alameda. The injured officer fired at least once at the escaping vehicle. An eyewitness told CBS4 the officer fired multiple times at the suspect.

Radio communication released by Aurora police details a high speed chase on snowy roads to Alameda Parkway and Kentucky Avenue, where the vehicle spun out.

Police say the suspect got out of the stolen police car and allegedly confronted officers. Police say the suspect did not respond to repeated commands to raise his hands.

“The suspect got out of the vehicle and was told numerous times to put his hands up and when he did not comply officers at that time our officer did fire at the suspect,” said Aurora Police Lt. Scott Torpen.

The unnamed suspect died on the scene. A passenger in the initial vehicle was taken into custody.

Police say the suspect who was killed was not able to remove the service issue shotgun that was inside the stolen police car. At a press conference Monday afternoon police said the suspect did appear to have something in his hand during the confrontation, but it is unclear if that object was a gun or even a weapon at all.

“The suspect did have something in his right hand, but we’re not sure what that is at this time,” said Torpen.

Three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave during the incident. The injured officer was taken to an area hospital to treat a serious head wound. The names of the suspects and officers have not been made public.

The investigation is ongoing.

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

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