An El Paso County sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot Sunday evening while responding to a shooting near Colorado Springs. A woman and the suspected gunman were also found dead after the incident, authorities said.
Deputy Andrew Peery was killed while responding with other officers to a report of shots fired near Ponderosa Drive and Grand Boulevard in Security-Widefield, just south of Colorado Springs.
“As soon as they arrived they were immediately met with gunfire,” El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said during a brief news conference Sunday.
At least one deputy returned fire, Colorado Springs police said Monday.
Peery, 39, a SWAT operator, was gravely wounded. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he died, police said. He is survived by a wife, Megan, and two children. Peery had worked for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office since 2016.
A woman was also found dead in a front yard, police said. Her name wasn’t released and police didn’t provide further details.
The man believed responsible for both homicides, John Paz, 33, was found dead during a later search of a home, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
“While the El Paso County Coroner’s Office will make the official cause and manner of death determinations for all three individuals, the deaths of Deputy Peery and the adult female are being investigated as homicides committed by John Paz,” police said on Twitter.
The deputy who returned fire after Peery was hit has been placed on administrative leave by the sheriff’s office, police said.
Paz worked at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s airfield in the 94th Flying Training Squadron, which conducts glider training for cadets. He had been an aviation resource management technician there since December, school spokesperson Dean J. Miller said.
“Our condolences go out to all the friends and family affected by Sunday’s incident,” Miller said.
Gov. Jared Polis released a statement in reaction to the shooting.
“My thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Deputy Peery and all our neighbors in law enforcement who put their lives at risk to serve others,” Polis said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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