DENVER — It has been a difficult time for Colorado law enforcement agencies over the past five weeks. Ten officers have been shot, three of whom were killed, in the line of duty during three separate incidents involving five departments since Dec. 31.
The latest shooting occurred in Colorado Springs Monday afternoon when a car theft suspect shot and killed El Paso County Deputy Micah Flick. Three other officers — two deputies and a Colorado Springs Police officer — were wounded. A bystander was also injured.
The unidentified male suspect police were attempting to contact when the shooting occurred amid a struggle is dead, Colorado Springs Police said.
Monday’s shooting comes just two days after the Adams County Sheriff’s Office laid to rest one of their own. Funeral services for Heath Gumm, an Adams County deputy, were held in Lafayette Friday.
Gumm was shot and killed in an altercation with a suspect in Thornton the night of Jan. 24. The 31-year-old Deputy and another officer were responding to an assault call when the shooting occurred.
About three weeks prior to the Thornton shooting, another Colorado deputy was killed by gunfire. Douglas County Deputy Zack Parrish was killed in a shootout early on New Year’s Eve.
Four other officers, including a Castle Rock Police officer, and two civilians were injured in the New Year's Eve shooting before the suspect was killed.
The recent shootings has Gov. John Hickenlooper concerned. He released a statement Monday, saying the deaths of the three deputies are having "a grave impact."
A senseless act of violence has claimed the life of another member of Colorado’s law enforcement family. Late this afternoon, we learned that El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Micah Flick was killed, two other deputies were injured, as was a Colorado Springs police officer and two bystanders. With the recent loss of now three deputies and many others injured, there’s no denying the grave impact this sequence of shootings is having on our state.
We will once more come together to provide sympathy and strength for the deputy’s loved ones and pray for the recovery of those injured; however, we also must come together and say enough is enough. We want each officer, every deputy, to know we are grateful for their service.
It’s not clear what could be contributing to the dramatic rise in the number of Colorado officers shot in the line of duty, which comes amid a national decrease in officer fatalities.
The deaths of the three Colorado deputies is also raising questions about the adequacy of their protective gear.
Former Pueblo police officer Randy Wills said in a post to social media following the Adams County shooting that current tactical wear isn't strong enough.
Wills posted a plea on Facebook asking Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature to create a fund, which local law enforcement agencies can use to purchase upgraded protective wear for their officers. He estimates the price tag would be about $7 million.