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Off-duty Fort Morgan police officer dies after incident at friend's home

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Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 01:22:12-04

WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Westminster police are investigating after an off-duty Fort Morgan Police Department officer died following an incident at a friend's home early Thursday morning. 

Officer Chris Sandoval, 22, was reportedly working an overnight shift in Fort Morgan Wednesday into Thursday, but was released early, at about 10 p.m., to make up for extra hours worked, according to Paul Schultz, Chief of Public Safety for Fort Morgan police. 

Sandoval then visited a friend in Westminster, where an incident took place at around 2:40 a.m., according to Schultz. He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette and was pronounced dead shortly after 4 a.m.

Police did not release many details about the investigation, only saying there were several other people at the home at the time of the death and that they were all cooperating with the investigation. 

Westminster police also said there is no danger to the public and added they couldn't comment on whether the off-duty officer died under suspicious circumstances. 

Sandoval was the youngest member of the Fort Morgan police force who was "well liked among peers." News of his death shocked colleagues, Schultz said. 

"This is a tragic loss for the city and the department, and obviously we’re devastated," Schultz wrote in a press release. 

Sandoval started with the FMPD in October 2016. He was a native of Colorado and an avid Broncos fan who enjoyed running and was interested in sports and painting, according to the prepared statement. 

He obtained his P.O.S.T. certification in May 2016 after attending the Police Academy at the Community College of Aurora. He was working on an A.A. Degree in Criminal Justice from Front Range Community College.

The investigation is ongoing and any inquiries related to the incident should be directed to Investigator Cheri Spottke of the Westminster Police Department.