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Man who shot off-duty Denver officer during robbery sentenced to decades in prison

Posted at 12:20 AM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 02:21:23-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The man convicted for shooting an off-duty Denver police officer during a robbery in Arvada was sentenced to decades in prison.

On April 21, a Jefferson County jury found Samuel McConnell, 45, guilty of aggravated robbery - intent to kill/maim/wound if resisted, assault causing serious bodily injury with a dangerous weapon, tampering with physical evidence, child abuse, theft, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and leaving the scene of accident involving injury. He was acquitted of attempt to commit first-degree murder and assault - injury with weapon during felony, according to the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

McConnell was sentenced Tuesday to 32 years in prison.

Police responded to a Circle K gas station at 9989 W. 80th Avenue in Arvada on Dec. 18, 2019 for a robbery in progress. McConnell entered the gas station wearing a mask and gloves while holding a gun and robbed the clerk of approximately $200, a release from the DA's office says.

A customer inside the store left the store and ran into the off-duty police officer, who was getting gas at the time, and told him about the robbery happening inside.

The officer went in to confront McConnell and identified himself as a police officer. He drew his firearm, but it jammed, and McConnell shot him, court documents say.

He then took off in a Chevy Equinox at a high rate of speed and hit another vehicle. The officer did fire at least one shot at McConnell’s fleeing vehicle, the DA’s office said. A 2-year-old child was inside the vehicle at the time, according to prosecutors in court just after the incident occurred.

The officer was hospitalized for gunshot wounds to his forearm and shoulder.

McConnell was arrested later that evening at an apartment complex in the 8300 block of Sheridan Blvd. in Westminster.

Once he was in custody, he confessed to also robbing a gas station in Erie and a donut shop in Westminster in the days surrounding the robbery in Arvada. He said he also contemplated robbing someone at a Chase Bank prior to the Arvada robbery but decided against it. He told officers he needed the money because he wasn't working and needed to buy oxycodone.