DPD officer shot 5 times; 2nd suspect captured

Posted at 6:03 AM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 08:03:03-05

Denver Police have taken two people into custody, sources say, after an officer was shot several times during a routine traffic stop. The shooting happened on Federal Boulevard Tuesday morning, but this case involves several crime scenes in northwest Denver.

Sources said the officer, Tony Lopez, Junior,was shot in an arm and both legs, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

One suspect was taken into custody with a gunshot wound. The second suspect was found after a manhunt that went on for hours, an informed source within Denver Police told Denver7.

Lopez was rushed to Denver Health Medical Center in critical condition. Doctors said just after 5 p.m. Tuesday that they successfully completed surgery.

The injured suspect was also transported to Denver Health. His condition has not been released, but he appeared to only have a gunshot wound to his leg.

-- Shooting happened during traffic stop -- 

The shooting occurred around 11:23 a.m. in the area of Federal Boulevard and Clyde Place. That's near Federal and West 38th Avenue.

Denver police said Lopez told dispatchers he was making a routine traffic stop at 11:21 a.m. Two minutes later, he was able to radio that he had been shot.

Denver7 sources say bullets struck Lopez twice in the left leg, once in the right knee and twice in an arm.

A witness told Denver7 reporter Liz Gelardi that he heard more than a dozen gunshots. When the witness looked outside, he said he saw an officer down.

“I just heard a bunch of shots and I peeked out the door to take a look and see what was happening. And there were so many shots. I kind of got scared and came back in," said witness Thomas Peebles. "And when I came back out I saw an officer on the ground. I saw him lift his head a couple of times and lift his arm once but you could tell he was hurt.”

"At this point, we're not sure what transpired between 11:21 and 11:23 that led up to the shooting," DPS spokesman Sonny Jackson said.

A carjacking happened in a U.S. Bank parking lot about 0.7 miles away Tuesday, as well. As the situation unfolded, police thought officer Lopez pulled over the suspects just after the carjacking. However, Denver Police clarified the chronology on Tuesday night. According to the department, Lopez pulled over the suspects in the routine stop, and was then shot. Police say the suspects fled that scene and dumped their car in alley. They then walked to the U.S. Bank at 3400 W. 38th, carjacked a woman's vehicle, and sped away from the lot.


Above: Bank where carjacking happened

-- 1 man, 1 woman taken into custody --

Denver Police said one suspect was taken into custody in northwest Denver after Officer Lopez was shot.

Jackson said officers spotted a vehicle driving away from the scene where Lopez was shot at a high rate of speed.

Denver officers chased the vehicle. The pursuit ended at 20th and Chestnut and the suspect was arrested. Officers said the suspect appeared to have been wounded in the leg and was taken to the hospital to be treated.

Officers blocked 20th and Chestnut for hours for the investigation. Denver7 sources say police found an AK-47 in the carjacked vehicle. 

Police cleared the scene just after 3 p.m. Tow trucks hauled away the stolen vehicle and two Denver Police vehicles. All of them showed body damage.

Detectives said at least one suspect was missing. Just after 6 p.m., a female suspect was arrested, a source close to the investigation told us. However, the Denver Police Department was denying that second arrest as of Tuesday evening.

-- Officer's condition --

Witness video shows multiple paramedics and emergency responders on scene where the shooting happened.

An ambulance rushed Lopez to Denver Health. Paramedics hid him behind a sheet as they ushered the officer into the building, as they did for other patients while the media and onlookers were staged outside of the hospital.

We're told Lopez had vascular damage, and his condition was stable but critical through surgery.

After meticulous procedure that lasted hours, Dr. Gene Moore, the chief of surgery at Denver Health Medical Center, said that he was optimistic about Lopez's condition.

Moore told Denver7 investigator John Ferrugia that Lopez nearly died from blood loss, but first responders were to thank for saving him.

“I should note the paramedics did a phenomenal job because those tourniquets they put on in the field saved his life. He lost so much blood that his heart almost stopped when he arrived. Those tourniquets clearly saved his life," Moore said.

He added, "We think he's going to survive."

Mayor Michael Hancock gave this statement:

"We have received good news that Officer Lopez is out of surgery. Myself, my family and all of Denver are sending our thoughts and prayers to him and his family at this critical time. Officer Lopez and his family have given so much to this city and now they need us. I thank all the officers, first responders and amazing medical staff who came to his aid today. We are grateful to you all and hopeful for Officer Lopez's recovery."

-- Schools no longer on lockdown or lockout --

While several schools in the area were on lockdown or lockout during the initial investigation, Denver Public Schools said at 1:55 p.m. that all schools were going back to normal operations and schedules.

The following map shows you the location of the events following the shooting. (It goes from red to purple)


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