DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Sheriff Tony Spurlock said on Sunday the response to a deadly shooting at the Copper Canyon apartment complex on the 3400 block of East County Line Road lasted approximately between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.
Investigators are still determining exactly what lead up to the shooting. But the sheriff and radio reports have revealed some of the events during that time frame.
Around 5:15 a.m. calls come in over radio traffic to return to an address where there was a disturbance overnight. Complaints again about someone making too much noise.
“This is going to be the address from the earlier disturbance.” (radio traffic)
Just before 6:00 a.m. multiple calls of “shots fired” are heard over radio traffic.
“Once they were there they were met with gunfire from the suspect,” said Sheriff Spurlock.
He said at a news conference later that day the suspect let the officers inside. Gunfire began as soon as officers approached. The sheriff called it an ambush.
“He knew we were coming,” the sheriff said. “Well over 100 rounds from the suspect.”
“We’ve got three officers hit, one down” (radio traffic)
The officers are all hit by gunfire. Most are able to crawl out of the apartment.
“When he was shot and went down,” the sheriff said of the fallen deputy. “The other officers went down right around him, they tried to pull him out, but they were unable to.”
“I still have an officer inside the residence” (radio traffic)
Sheriff Spurlock explained that a separate team had to go in to recover the fallen officer.
Radio traffic around 6:05 a.m. discusses a plan to recover him.
“Let’s put together a rescue team to get that one deputy out” (radio traffic)
The response is now taking into consideration the threat posed to anyone in the area including law enforcement. Residents in the area are told to shelter in place. Radio traffic around 6:10 reiterates these concerns.
“We have a code red launched.” (radio traffic)
More than an hour into the response, crews are now trying to help neighbors in the complex.
“That injured party sounds like the apartment straight across upstairs” (radio traffic)
Residents have been hit by gunfire in different apartment units. First responders are trying to reach them.
“It’s just regular people trying to live their life,” the sheriff said at the news conference. “Disrupted by this individual.”
Just before 6:50 a.m. crews are discussing how to get to those neighbors.
“We’re about to use a ladder right now” (radio traffic)
Shortly before the final hour of the shooting, radio traffic instructs all law enforcement to only use secure channels to communicate about the incident.
Some of the last recorded traffic provides updates on some of the injured officers.
“I have the injured officer in an unmarked [car]” (radio traffic)
“I have one wounded with me at Littleton Hospital being treated.” (radio traffic)
The sheriff later explained at his news conference how the shooter died. A special task force had to go into the apartment.
“Other officers came in, maintained and secured it,” he said on Sunday afternoon. “The suspect continued to shoot at officers for some time until he was engaged by officers and was killed.”
The sheriff said the fallen deputy was removed from the scene before 7:30 a.m.
One radio transmission recorded conveyed the emotion of finding a fallen officer and getting him out of the scene.
“End of Watch. Rest in Peace. Thank you for your service. Thank you to all other agencies for bringing our brother home.”