Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Five deputies shot, one dead in suburban Denver

Five deputies shot, one dead in suburban Denver

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said via its Twitter account that shots were fired in the course of the investigation and "multiple" deputies were injured.

Police also say the two injured civilians do not have life threatening injuries.

Sheriff Tony Spurlock says the unidentified suspect was killed during the Sunday morning shooting in response to an initial report of domestic violence.

"I heard 15 to 20 gunshots".

"His wife told me today that he loved this job more than he had loved any job he ever had", the sheriff said.

Perhaps most poignantly, social media posts on Parrish's Facebook wall showed the officer sharing memorials to other slain police officers from other departments.

Officers escorted Parrish's body from the hospital in a solemn motorcade of law enforcement vehicles.

The wounded officers are sheriff's deputies Michael Doyle, 28, Taylor Davis, 30, Jeffrey Pelle, 32, and Castle Rock Police Officer Tom 0'Donnell, 41.

Pelle is the son of Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

9NEWS has learned the suspect responsible for the "ambush-style" attack on officers in Douglas County Sunday morning is Matthew Riehl. "[Wife] Jaime and I are praying for the citizens and deputies injured at the scene, and our hearts go out to the family of the deputy who was fatally wounded".

Upon becoming a police officer years ago, Parrish reportedly said he was fulfilling "a childhood dream that [he] never thought would become a reality".

The civilian victims are expected to survive.


According to the sheriff's office, the gunman has been shot and killed.

The suspect fired 100 rounds during the ordeal.

"I do know that all of them were shot very, very quickly", Spurlock said at a news conference.

Reihl, an attorney and an Iraq war veteran, had also posted videos spewing profanities against Colorado law enforcement officers.

"He knew we were coming, and we obviously let him know that we were there", Spurlock said.

The department later released a statement saying 5 deputies and two civilians had been shot.

The disturbance was initially reported to be domestic but turned out to be noise-related, he said.

He is believed to have used a rifle, although the exact type of the weapon has not been officially confirmed, Spurlock said.

Steven Silknitter, a resident of the Copper Canyon apartment complex, said he rushed home to check on his fiancée after hearing of the shooting and arrived to hear a "barrage of gunfire exchanged".

The authorities said an emergency shelter has been set up following the shooting. "Where do you move to?" he said, shaking his head in exasperation.

Riehl's mental condition drew a call to Denver area authorities several hours before the fatal confrontation from someone who said Riehl might be having a mental breakdown.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Parker Police Department, Lone Tree Police Department, Castle Rock Police Department and Colorado State Patrol went on accident alert because of the incident.

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