LITTLETON, Colo. — Authorities are searching for a suspect who shot and wounded a Littleton police officer late Monday.
Shortly before midnight, Littleton police were dispatched to the area of Bannock Street and W. Powers Avenue on a report of shots fired from a vehicle, Littleton Police Chief Doug Stephens said in a press conference early Tuesday.
The officers were able to identify the vehicle based on witness descriptions.
As they tried to contact the individuals in the car, two people fled on foot from the vehicle and the officers started to chase them.
A male suspect entered an apartment complex at 183 W. Powers Avenue. An officer was close behind and the suspect turned and fired multiple times at the officer, Stephens said.
The officer was hit "several times," he said, noting it was more than three. The officer was wearing body armor, but received a few shots to his torso, which the armor blocked, and wounds to his extremities — his legs and his arm and possibly one above his vest on his chest, Stephens said.
The injured officer and a second officer at the scene were able to return fire, but it's not known if the suspect was struck.
"I was just about to lay down and go to sleep, and I heard several of which sounded like gunshots. So, I came down as I came out the front door of my front building. They were throwing a police officer in the backseat of a police car and they were yelling, 'Get him to Swedish. Get him to Swedish," a witness, Todd Golkowski, said.
As the second officer was trying to rescue the injured officer, the suspect was able to flee and has not yet been located, Stephens said.
The injured officer, who is not being identified, was transported to a hospital and is in serious condition but stable after undergoing surgery. His family is with him and is asking for privacy, Stephens said.
The area around S. Bannock Street and W. Powers Avenue is an active crime scene, he said. After searching the area, they did not find the suspect there so there is no threat to the residents, who were initially told to remain indoors.
"This is yet another example of the tragedies our officers face and the risk that they take every single day and night out there," Stephens said. "They put their lives on the line. I'm just tremendously proud of all of them."
Stephens said they are following "some pretty significant leads," but is asking anybody with information to call 911. As of 4:10 p.m., investigators were continuing to track down leads and interview witnesses.
The vehicle the suspects were in was recovered.
There is no descriptions available of the suspects.
"It’s sad. People have no respect anymore," Golkowski said. "I think if you’re willing to shoot out a police officer, you’re a dangerous individual and you probably need to be taken off the streets."
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.