LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – A Littleton police officer who was shot several times is in the hospital in serious but stable condition. The shooter is still on the loose and police are looking for another person as well.

“This is yet another example of the tragedies that our officers face and the risks that they take every single day and night out there,” said Police Chief Doug Stephens. “They put their lives on the line and I’m just tremendously proud of all of them.”

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The shooting happened just before midnight on South Bannock Street and West Powers Place, when officers were responding to a call about shots fired. Once police arrived, they found a car with two suspects inside.

“I was just about to go to sleep and it seemed like it was around 11:30, maybe a little earlier,” said Todd Golkowski, a neighbor who lives across the street. “I heard what sounded like several gunshots and I ran out in front of my building.”

As officers confronted the suspects, two people ran from the scene. At the entrance to the Powers Circle Apartments at 183 West Powers Place, at Powers Circle and Powers Avenue in Littleton, one of the men turned and shot at the officer, striking him in the torso, legs and arms. The other officer shot back, but the suspects were able to get away.

One man who lives in the apartment building saw what happened from the third floor.

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“Right down below my window, policeman confronted a guy in a white t-shirt and asked him a couple of questions and the guy took off running and the policeman yelled ‘He’s got a gun!’ and then they started shooting,” said witness Jeffery Croup. “They had quit shooting and one of the policemen lost their radio so they couldn’t call 911 or anything. And I noticed there was a policeman down so one of his buddies went over and grabbed him and drug him out into the street. And drug him over to the car and then they took off.”

People in that area were asked to shelter in place during the search for the suspects. Residents were allowed to return several hours later but closures in the area remained during the investigation.

“I’m not surprised, it was inevitable that something like this would happen in this area,” said Golkowski. “They do a lot of patrols, which is appreciated by a lot of the residents.”

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The officer was wearing body armor. The officer’s identity hasn’t been released. Anyone with information that might help police in their search for the shooter is asked to call (303) 794-1551.

“It’s getting less comfortable as each day passes by, the rent here is good but you have to weigh it against safety and your quality of life,” Golkowski said.

Jesse Sarles