Man shot in confrontation with police officer, deputy near Canon City

CANON CITY, Colo. - A Fremont County man is in stable condition after being shot three times during a confrontation with a sheriff's deputy and a Canon City police officer on Wednesday night, authorities said.  

According to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, the incident began with deputies looking for 46-year-old John Freyta, who was suspected of violating a protection order.

Canyon City police officers spotted Freyta driving through town Wednesday night and tried to pull his car over. Instead of stopping, Freyta sped off on Highway 50, traveling west of Canon City, sheriff's officials said.

Deputies joined the pursuit, following Freyta's car to the entrance of Skyline Drive on Highway 50, where the man turned around and headed east on the highway to the entrance to Tunnel Drive.  Freyta traveled up Tunnel Drive, through a parking area to a trail head where he was blocked by locked gates, sheriff's officials said.

A confrontation between Freyta, a Canon City officer and a deputy ensued and Freyta was shot three times, sheriff's officials said. He was struck twice in the side and once in the elbow.

He was airlifted to Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, where he was listed in stable condition on Thursday morning.

Canon City Police Chief Paul Schultz would not say whether or not Freyta was armed during the confrontation, citing the ongoing investigation, according to KRDO-TV.

"We didn't say he didn't have a gun and we didn't say he didn't have a weapon, that's under investigation yet. But of course, if an officer feels their life is in danger, they are allowed to defend themselves," said Schultz.

Both the officer and the deputy have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard practice for officer-involved shootings.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is leading the shooting investigation.