By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver police officer who was allegedly shot with a sawed-off shotgun is still in the hospital in critical condition. With the incident shaking fellow officers, the community is stepping up to try and lend help.

(credit: CBS)

“We’re all family and when one is hurt, we all feel it,” said Mary Hashem, a volunteer for Denver Police who spent Monday evening decorating the Roll Call Room and Break Room inside District One. “We got signs, we got snacks, we got hearts, we’ve got banners, we just want to pretty the place up. Particularly now that Denver Police District 1 knows the community is behind them.”

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Monday started “Police Week,” a yearly appreciation and honoring of fallen officers. The notes of thanks and other gestures of appreciation were made even more impactful after the Saturday night shooting.

(credit: CBS)

“These guys put their lives on the line every single day. We want them to be there for us when we pick up the phone and call when there is a stranger on our back porch. But it’s a dangerous job,” Hashem said.

Denver police say it was around 11 p.m. near the corner of 42nd Avenue and Alcott Street when they responded to a trespassing call.

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“The officers began examining the back porch area. They were behind on the other side of a rod iron fence which was on the south side of the house and as they approached, they were fired upon by the subject who was on the patio area there,” said Commander Matt Clark with Denver Police. “He suffered significant injuries to his legs and pelvis and remains in critical condition at Denver Health Medical Center with his family by his side.”

(credit: CBS)

A sawed-off shotgun was found Sunday morning. Police apprehended the suspect, 40-year-old Pedro Juan Gallegos, after he tried to ride a bike out of the perimeter set up by police. He’s now being charged with attempted first-degree murder.

A tourniquet was applied to the injured officer.

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“The tourniquet I would argue is absolutely necessary, and given the nature of the injuries and where he was shot the tourniquet was critical in saving his life,” Clark said.

Jeff Todd