Escaped fugitive involved in officer-involved shooting that closed I-270 from I-25 to I-70 for hours

Ryan Schenk wanted for escape in El Paso County

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Both directions of Interstate 270 are reopened after being closed for the investigation of an officer-involved shooting from about 3 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday.

Commerce City Police spokesman Officer Chris Dickey said the suspect, who was later found to be a fugitive parolee wanted for escape in El Paso County, suffered a leg injury during the confrontation when at least one officer fired shots.

But Dickey said he could not say whether 31-year-old Ryan John Schenk's leg injury was a gunshot wound, because that is part of the going investigation.

After being treated for his injury, Schenk was released from the hospital, arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer and taken to the Adams County Detention Facility.

Colorado State Patrol investigators said they were responding to a hit-and-run crash that happened in the Commerce City area.

A blue sedan crashed into the guardrail just before 3 a.m. The driver ran off, and investigators believed the person was armed.

At some point, a state trooper and a Commerce City police officer fired on the suspect, who suffered an unspecified leg injury.

During the investigation of the crime scene, which covered I-270 lanes in both directions, police recovered a gun that did not belong to the officers, Dickey said. Police would not say whether Schenk fired or brandished the gun.

No officers were injured in the shooting.

The Commerce City Police Department, the CSP and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office are involved in the investigation. The officer and trooper were placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is the normal protocol in officer-involved shootings.

Schenk has a lengthy criminal history in Colorado.

In 2004, he had a string of arrests in El Paso County for assaulting a guard while in custody, auto theft, drug possession, forgery and weapons violations, according state arrest records.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting a guard and was sentenced to eight years in state prison, according to court records.

Following his release from prison, Schenk was arrested at least four times for parole violation between May 1, 2012 and Aug. 16, 2013.

After being arrested in August on a charge of escape to avoid a felony conviction, Schenk vanished again and an arrest warrant was issued for failure to appear in court by an El Paso County judge. State parole officials were looking for him.

Police say Schenk's running from the law ended Monday morning on I-270.

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