Denver County sheriff's deputy shot while serving warrant upgraded to fair condition; suspect killed

Shooting occurred at Benedict Park Place

DENVER - Police say that a Denver Sheriff's deputy has been upgraded to fair condition after he was shot early Wednesday, while trying to serve an arrest warrant.

Investigators say the deputy and his partner were serving a felony arrest warrant for Burglary, Assault and Harassment to a woman in an apartment complex at 305 Park Avenue West when the woman opened fire.

One deputy was shot and his partner in turn shot and killed the female suspect.

“I heard the gunshots,” one neighbor told 7NEWS. “Pop, pop, pop, pow! That’s it. That’s all you heard.”

The neighbor, who asked that only her first name, Jessica, be used said, “Everybody was like, ‘where is it (the gunfire) coming from?  I was scared to come out of this building to look where it was coming from because, you know, bullets don’t have no names.”

“We heard two pops and then maybe a five second delay and then 3, 4, 5 right in a row rapid fire,” said Jane Howland, who lives across the street. “Then we heard moaning and some kind of a cry.”

Howland said she was on her way to the library when she heard the bullets fly.

“Obviously, I came back into the house and waited,” she said. “But it was pretty scary.”

Jay Paul Apodaca watched from his front yard as officers escorted the stricken deputy to a waiting ambulance.

“It was obvious he was hurt,” Apodaca said. “He was surrounded by 10 to 15 officers.”

Apodaca told 7NEWS that he too heard someone moan and then heard a child cry.

“I’m a father,” he said. “When you hear babies cry, you hope nothing is going on.”

The wounded deputy was initially in critical condition with non-life-threatening injuries. He was upgraded an hour later to fair condition, Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. Initial reports said the deputy was shot in the hand. 

Denver police confirm there were two children inside the apartment when the shooting happened. Officers said the children were not hurt, but were taken to the hospital as a precaution. The ages of the children were not released.

Authorities haven’t released the name of the deputy who was shot, nor the name of the suspect who was killed.

But a law enforcement source confirmed the dead suspect is 30-year-old Ronette Aiesha Morales.

The incident is being investigated by the Denver Police Department, monitored by the Office of the Independent Monitor and the Denver District Attorney. 

The Benedict Park Place apartments is family housing owned by the Denver Housing Authority. DHA's website says the apartment complex offers market-rate housing, meaning rent is based on the comparative market analysis. No income limits apply.

Officials locked down a Denver magnet school -- Polaris at Ebert -- which is a half block from the shooting scene.

Print this article Back to Top