COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A suspected car thief shot and killed an El Paso County Sheriff's deputy and wounded three other law enforcement officers and one civilian in Colorado Springs Monday afternoon. The only suspect was killed, Colorado Springs Police said.
Two of the injured officers are with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. The third, who was undergoing surgery Monday evening, is with the Colorado Springs Police Department. Their conditions are unknown. However, authorities said the Colorado Springs officer was "stable." The civilian who was injured has not been identified.
The deputy who was killed has been identified as Micah Flick, 34, an 11-year veteran of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. Flick was married with two children.
Flick was part of a group of law enforcement officers investigating a motor vehicle theft at the Murray Hill apartments in the area of Galley Road and Murray Boulevard when the shooting occurred around 4 p.m.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey says there was a struggle after officers began talking to the unidentified suspect about the stolen vehicle and gunfire erupted.
“This is a difficult day for our agencies. Tonight, there is no distinction between our uniforms, state patrol, Colorado Springs Police Department. Our hearts are all broken,” said Carey.
Michael DeRossett lives at the Murray Hill apartments and told Denver7 he was 50 feet away from the gunfire in a stairwell. He recorded the moments after the shooting.
“As I was approaching the window, I heard a few pops like rapid fire, two or three shots,” said DeRossett. “My heart rate was going a hundred miles an hour. It wasn't obvious it was police to begin with.”
He said he went to grab a gun to protect his family but didn’t use it when he got a better view of the scene.
“I don’t want no one coming in to get to my family, my kids, my wife, my nieces, my nephews, my wife and brother,” said DeRossett. “After the few shots were fired, I saw him fire back, and I saw people fall all over the parking lot.”
The suspect has yet to be identified.
Monday's incident marks the third officer killed in the line duty in the state since Dec. 31.
Ten Colorado law enforcement officers, including the three fallen deputies, have been shot in the three separate incidents during the same time period.
The apparent rise in officer shootings has Colorado's governor concerned. Gov. John Hickenlooper released a statement Monday, saying the recent shootings are having "a grave impact"and called Flick's death a "senseless act of violence."
A procession took Flick's body from Memorial Hospital to the El Paso County coroner’s office, as dozens of people lined the streets to pay their respects.
“The sadness that his family has to be going through right now and the sadness that our community is going through right now. It’s insane,” said Colorado Springs Resident Jason Caswell.
Several Colorado law enforcement agencies shared their condolences on Twitter Monday after the shooting. Read the messages here.