BAILEY, Colo. (CBS4) – Many are grieving in the tight-knit community of Bailey following the shooting and killing of a Park County deputy who died while on duty.
Residents gathered on Wednesday night at Platte Canyon Community Church to share memories of Cpl. Nate Carrigan. There was no candlelight vigil or schedule to follow. It was simply a time for sharing, with hugs given and tears shed for a man that left his mark on everyone in one way or another.
“Just because you don’t know someone intimately, you see them in the diner, you know what they do, you hear about him at the schools,” said one resident.
That was the case for many people who turned out Wednesday night.
Melinda Nillson never met Carrigan, but she has worked alongside his mother for a long time.
“As any mother would say, he was just a fantastic son who took care of people,” she said.
Carrigan worked closely with Platte Canyon High School and was a football and baseball coach.
“My grandson was on the football team and the baseball team, and he had a lot of nice things to say about Officer Carrigan, even though he got (pulled over) once,” said Jack Schmidt. “He gave his life for this community.”
Schmidt said the hearts of the people in Bailey are with Carrigan’s family and also with the two other deputies who were shot and injured along with Carrigan. Deputy Kolby Martin was listed in critical condition at the hospital after being shot multiple times in the lower body. Capt. Mark Hancock was also struck by a bullet — it grazed his ear — and he was released after being treated at the hospital. The three deputies were serving an eviction notice at a home.
The shooter was killed. Police identified him as Martin Wirth.
Carrigan was a 13-year veteran with the sheriff’s department.