Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP

Colorado Gunman Shoots and Kills Officer on New Year’s Eve

There was a police shooting 15 miles south of Denver, Colorado in the city of Highlands Ranch is where police responded to a noise complaint at the Copper Canyon Apartment Complex on New Years Eve. A man who was later identified as 37 year old Matthew Riehl shot at the officers that responded to the call. Riehl served in the Army Reserve and spent a one year tour in Iraq. Riehl had barricaded himself in his room and fired more than 100 rounds at 5 officers after having a regular face to face conversation with the officers. His shower of bullets injured all five of the officers and killed one of them. The shoot out ultimately resulted in the death of 29 year old officer Zackari Parrish along with Matthew Riehl.

Parrish had worked for seven months at the Douglas County Sheriff’s office. Zackari Parrish is survived by his wife and two young children. The community has reportedly shown signs of fear and find this situation not only unsettling but tragic because Highlands Ranch is one of the “safest cities in the Denver area” according to one of the residents of the apartment complex. The resident was shocked because it “happened in her backyard” and she hadn’t ever imagined something like that to happen. The community will band together in wake of this police shooting. Two civilians who were in the neighboring apartment were also shot during the police shooting but are due to recover soon. Sheriff Tony Spurlock told news reporters at a news conference that Parrish, the fallen officer, was known to be a “smiley kid” who had a zealous desire to serve his community. It is unclear as to what the motive was behind the shooting and officers are still investigating the case.

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