1 sheriff's deputy killed, several injured after shooting in Colorado

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Police cars prepare for a procession near Littleton Adventist Hospital, Colo., Sunday Dec. 31, 2017, after a Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy was shot and killed during a domestic dispute.

Sheriff Tony Spurlock described it as an "ambush-type of attack". "This is Colorado. Everybody has a gun", Mr Spurlock said.

"He loved this job more than any job he ever had", he 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.

The officer who was killed was identified as a 29-year-old deputy who joined the force seven months ago.

Parrish's first law enforcement job was at the Morrison Police Department, where he served as a reserve officer from June 28, 2014, until the end of that year.

"The scene remains active and please avoid the area", the Douglas County Sheriff's Office wrote in a tweet.

1 sheriff's deputy killed, several injured after shooting in Colorado
1 sheriff's deputy killed, several injured after shooting in Colorado

"We are now with our son and his wife", Sheriff Pelle and his wife, Stephanie, were quoted as stating.

Earlier, the sheriff's office said via its Twitter account that a major highway south of the city was shut down Sunday.

"They all went down nearly within seconds of each other, so it was more an ambush-style of attack on our officers", Spurlock said.

"I've been a blessed sheriff", he said, adding, "My deputies have been shot, run over, and they've survived".

"I've heard from so many different people that he just loved his community and being a police officer", Mission Hills Pastor Craig Smith told KDVR-TV.

The initial call to the residence came after a neighbor called 911, with Sheriff Spurlock saying it didn't appear to a domestic relations issue but rather the suspect, 'making a ton of noise and annoying everyone around him'.

Officers entered the apartment complex when a resident let them in, Spurlock said, and were shot "almost immediately".

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The incident occurred around 5.15am local time at Copper Canyon Apartments, a landscaped apartment complex in Highland Ranch, 16 miles south of Denver. Police had left the home four hours earlier to address a noise complaint but returned in response to reports of a disturbance. They are suffering non-life-threatening injuries, Spurlock said.

Firearms instructor Robert Butler says Douglas County shooting suspect took his rifle classes over the summer.

The sheriff said he was told by a doctor at the emergency room that Parrish suffered mortal wounds. "Where do you move that you don't have to worry about getting shot?"

Spurlock said the suspect has had previous contact with law enforcement "throughout the metro area", but has no criminal history.

President Donald Trump and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper each offered their condolences to the family and Sheriff's Office.

Matthew Riehl, 37, was identified as the gunman Sunday evening by the Douglas County, Colorado Sheriff's Office.

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