Gordon Moench formally charged, accused in ambush shooting of two Lakewood police officers

Affidavit: Man lay in wait for arriving officers

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - A man accused of shooting and seriously wounding two Lakewood police officers in an ambush has been formally charged with multiple counts of attempted first-degree murder and assault.

During a Monday hearing in Jefferson County court, 54-year-old Gordon Moench Jr. was charged with the following:

  • Three counts of attempted first-degree murder -- after deliberation
  • Three counts of attempted first-degree murder – extreme indifference to the value of human life
  • Four counts first-degree assault
  • Ten counts of crime of violence -- offenses that can enhance the length of a sentence.

Moench is accused of shooting the two officers on the night of July 5 as they responded to his home at 9740 W. Jewell Place.  Moench's wife, Audrey, had called 911 and asked police do to a welfare check on her husband.

According to court records, Moench was lying in wait for police in the bed of a pickup truck parked in his driveway. He was armed with a semiautomatic rifle with a 30-round magazine, a .44-caliber handgun and a shotgun.

Lakewood Police Agent Jonathan Key was struck in the arm and chest and was partially shielded by a bullet-resistant vest, police said. Police Agent Kimberly Collins was hit by a bullet that shattered her lower leg.

A third Lakewood officer shot Moench in the chest after police said the suspect raised a .44-caliber handgun toward the officer.

According to an arrest affidavit, Audrey Moench, who had fled the home out of fear for her safety, told a 911 operator that she and her husband were separating, and he had said he no longer wanted to live.

The wife warned the operator that "Gordon told her that if she called police there was going to be 'be a battle' and said Gordon had access to several firearms."

Audrey hung up, but soon called 911 back to say her husband had texted his stepson that "he was going to kill him," the affidavit said. "Audrey expressed concern for the responding officers due to Gordon's access to firearms and mental state."

-- 'Ready to kill a bunch of people' --

Soon, Gordon Moench himself called 911.

According to the affidavit, a man identifying himself only as "Gordon" told the 911 call-taker "there is guy outside with a gun, ready to kill a bunch of people."

When the call-taker asked the caller where he was located, he replied, "I'm the guy with the gun."

Gordon said he had three guns -- "enough to hurt a lot of people." He even told the call-taker he was in his pickup truck, parked outside his home.

"The call-taker asked Gordon why he wants to hurt people, and he stated, 'Good question. I tell you what, you'll find out when you get here,'" according to the affidavit.

A 911 dispatcher relayed the man's warning that he had three guns and "wants to hurt people" to the responding officers, Key and Collins.

Key, who was driving a marked patrol car, was approaching Moench's home from the west. The officer shut off his headlights as he prepared to stop about four houses from the suspect's home.

In an interview after his arrest, Moench allegedly told police he spotted the patrol car coming down the street, aimed the SKS rifle "high and left," and fired about five shots, the affidavit said.

The shots slammed into the patrol car and at least two bullets pierced the windshield, hitting Key in the arm and the chest. Key bailed from the moving patrol car. It kept rolling, sideswiping a parked Subaru Outback before it hit the back of the red pickup.

Moench later told police "he heard a gasping noise from the patrol car" and figured he shot the officer, the affidavit said.

--Officer tied a tourniquet on his own arm to 'save his life'--

Key radioed that shots had been fired and he'd been hit. Key saw that he was bleeding heavily from his gunshot wounds. He placed a tourniquet on his arm in effort to stop the bleeding and "save his life," the affidavit stated.

Meanwhile, Collins had parked her patrol car east of Moench's home and was walking down the sidewalk toward the gunfire.

Moench allegedly fired one shot, shattering Collins' lower leg and causing "severe blood loss," the affidavit stated. Police said he repeatedly told investigators the second officer he shot was a woman.

Moench jumped out of the pickup with the .44-caliber revolver and began walking west on Jewell.

Moench called 911 a second time. When the operator asked the location of his emergency, he replied, "where all the shooting is."

"God, I apologize, I hit that cop and now it's too far," he said, according to the affidavit.

--Suspect tells 911 'They're going to have to kill me'--

Moench told the operator he was walking west in the middle of the road and "has to die now."

The call-taker asked Moench if he could stop and talks to officers, and he replied, "I just shot one," the affidavit said.

He told the call-taker he was not going to stop and talk. "They're going to have to kill me," Moench said, according to the affidavit.

Meanwhile, other officers had rushed to Key and Collins and were helping get them transported to the hospital.

Agent Luke Godfrey had responded to the scene when he heard radio reports that two officers had been shot.

Godfrey took position behind a fire truck. But when the fire engine drove off, the agent spotted a man walking down the street, carrying a large revolver.

Godfrey repeatedly ordered the man to drop the gun, the affidavit said. Instead, Moench raised the gun "as if to fire at Agent Godfrey," and Godfrey fired several shotgun rounds, hitting the suspect in the chest, the affidavit stated.

--Police question man's 'suicide by cop' claim--

At the hospital, Moench agreed to talk to an investigator and signed a form waiving his right to remain silent and have an attorney present.

Moench said he was proficient with guns and started shooting when he was 12 years old. He said he also had a conceal carry permit.

Before the investigator asked Moench about the shooting, the man "admitted several times he 'shot two cops' and said he is evil and deserves to go to hell,'" according to the affidavit.

He talked about climbing into the back of his pickup with the SKS rifle, a 30-round magazine for the rifle, a handgun and a shotgun. Moench said he then texted the death-threat to his stepson, but he had no intention of killing the teen.

Instead, Moench said he wanted the stepson to report the threat to police, which would draw them to his home and officers would shoot him in his planned "suicide by cop," the affidavit stated.

Clearly, police are skeptical about whether Moench really intended for police to kill him.

The investigator asked Moench "why he brought so many guns and ammunition if he intended to commit suicide by cop, and he explained he wanted officers to perceive him as a threat, not someone trying to commit suicide."

The investigator asked Moench about his intent when he fired at the officers.

"Gordon claimed he wanted the police to shoot and kill him and fired at them only to 'get their attention,'" the investigator wrote in the affidavit.

"It was brought to his attention he shot both officers in an ambush-style attack, never allowing them any opportunity to shoot him, which according to him was his ultimate goal. Gordon was unable to describe his logic and/or tactics or explain how the police could have possibly ended his life in the manner he desired, given the ambush," the investigator noted in the affidavit.

Moench is being held at the Jefferson County Jail on a $2 million cash bond.

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