Park County Deputy, Suspected Gunman Killed In Bailey Shootout

February 25, 2016
Photo: Bailey Shootout (AP)
Jefferson County SWAT officers at the scene where a man opened fire on sheriff's deputies before the officers returned fire, killing the man, outside Bailey, Colo., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. 

A Park County Sheriff's deputy was shot and killed, and the suspected gunman was also killed, in a confrontation Wednesday in Bailey, about 45 miles southwest of Denver.

The sheriff's office identified the deputy who was killed as Nate Carrigan, a 13-year veteran of the force. The suspect was named as Martin Wirth, of Bailey.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Medina says a group of officers were attacked when serving an eviction notice at about 9:30 a.m. 

“The subject fired. There were three members of the Park County Sheriff’s office who were hit. One of those deputies lost his life," she said.

Kolby Martin, on the force for 11 years, was shot numerous times in the “lower extremities” and air-lifted to Saint Anthony's in Denver, the sheriff’s department says. Mark Hancock, with 21 years in the department, was shot in the ear and driven to Saint Anthony's in Denver by ambulance.

A bomb squad was called in out of an "abundance of caution," Medina said. 

The property in question, on Iris Drive, was the subject of a 2014 protest lead by the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition, an activist organization. The group organized the protest for a man named Martin Wirth, but later pulled its support according to a June 2014 Facebook post:

While we believe in Mr.Wirth's case and arguments we cannot in good conscience as an organisation [sic] support the tactics he is proposing. Any individuals wishing to participate in Mr. Wirth's ongoing foreclosure resistance are welcome!

A call for comment to the coalition was not immediately returned. Park County records show Wirth bought the property in 2002 and it was foreclosed on in 2013. 

Wirth also appears to have been a Green Party-endorsed candidate for state Senate in 2014. His campaign Facebook page was active as recently as Tuesday.

"It's a tragic day," Medina said.