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Denver police officer shot and wounded; suspect in custody

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Posted at 6:46 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 12:54:48-05

DENVER — A plain-clothes officer with the Denver Police Department was shot in the back while in an unmarked vehicle Tuesday evening.

The officer was wounded and taken to Denver Health. Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said the officer is expected to make a full recovery.

Police said a suspect was taken into custody after a short pursuit. They said no officer returned fire and no other injuries were reported.

The shooting happened at approximately 5:35 p.m. in the area of South Knox Court and West Kentucky Avenue, just west of Federal Boulevard.

Police were initially called to the area on a report of a dog dispute, according to Division Chief Joe Montoya. About an hour later, Montoya said another call for service came in for the same address, this time regarding a potentially armed trespasser.

The injured officer, whose name has not been released, was in the area at the time of the second call and responded. While in the area, a suspect in a vehicle shot at the officer's vehicle, striking him in the back, according to Montoya.

Other officers nearby immediately began pursuing the suspect's vehicle and arrested the suspect a couple of blocks away a short time later, Montoya said. The suspect has not been identified.

Montoya said it's not clear if the suspect was connected to the earlier calls for service or if he was targeting police since the officer was not wearing a uniform or in a marked vehicle.

Pazen said the injured officer was not wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting. He said the officer has been on the force for four years and is eager to return to work.

"It's remarkable that he's doing as well as he is, considering how dangerous this situation was. He wants to get back out here and help keep this particular neighborhood safe from gun violence," Pazen said.

On Wednesday morning, the DPD said the officer was released from the hospital Tuesday evening.

Police are still investigating the circumstances that led up to the incident. They don't believe anyone else was involved and are not looking for any other suspects.