Douglas County deputy, fearing for his life, shoots driver carrying assault rifle

Posted at 9:16 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-13 12:25:53-04

LITTLETON, Colo. -- A Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputy who was checking on a stopped vehicle near the McLellen Reservoir shot a driver who was carrying an assault rifle inside a car early Friday evening, the sheriff's office chief deputy said during a press conference.   

The deputy, who has not been identified, came across a stopped vehicle along the side of West County Line Road near South Santa Fe Drive at around 6:45 p.m., when the driver got out of his vehicle "with an automatic weapon, an assault rifle," according Douglas County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Steve Johnson.

The deputy engaged the suspect in verbal commands and, fearing for his life, fired his weapon and hit the suspect who went down after he was hit, according to Johnson. 

The deputy was not injured. 

The suspect was undergoing surgery at a local hospital, but Denver7 was not immediately able to confirm additional details as to the suspect's condition. 

Johnson told Denver7 during a press conference he did not know if the suspect said anything to the deputy, or if the suspect was waiting on police before the deputy stopped to check on the driver. Johnson also said he did not know how many shots were fired. 

He added he did not know if the suspect fired the weapon. 

The deputy involved in the shooting was described as a "seasoned deputy" by Johnson. 

The Littleton Police Department, in conjunction with the 18th Judicial District Critical Response Team and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, is conducting an investigation into the shooting.