Authorities released more information Tuesday about the circumstances and victims of a shootout in Colorado Springs that left El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick dead, and three other law enforcement officers wounded.
In a statement released Friday evening, the Colorado Springs Police Department said the incident began as an investigation into a stolen car, which officers had tracked to the 4200 block of Galley Road. At roughly 3:55 p.m., members of the B.A.T.T.L.E auto theft task force -- including detectives from CSPD, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, and the Colorado State Patrol -- attempted to arrest the suspect, 19-year-old Colorado Springs resident Manuel Zetina, in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex.
A struggle ensued, and police say Zetina pulled out a handgun and opened fire, fatally wounding Deputy Flick and injuring two other deputies and a CSPD officer. Officers returned fire, killing Zetina.
CSPD identified the injured officer as detective Marcus Yanez. Yanez, who has been with the department since 2007, was treated for a gunshot wound and released from the hospital.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said, in addition to Deputy Flick, Deputy Scott Stone and Sergeant Jake Abendshan were injured in the gunfight.
At a press briefing Tuesday morning, Sheriff Bill Elder said Stone, a 5-year-veteran of the office, sustained a gunshot to the abdomen, and that he was in stable condition at Memorial Hospital. Abendshan, who has been with the sherriff's office for 16 years, was wounded by "what appears to be shrapnel from one of the rounds," Elder said. He was released from the hospital in good condition Monday night.
Also injured was an as-yet unnamed civilian, whom Sheriff Bill Elder described as an "innocent bystander" in a briefing to the El Paso County Board of County Comissioners. According to CSPD, the adult male was shot while walking in the vicinity of the shootout, and he is currently undergoing treatment for his injuries at an area hospital.
The incident is under investigation by the CSPD Deadly Force Investigations Team, as required by Colorado law in the event of an officer-involved shooting. CSPD says the detectives involved have been placed on routine administrative leave.
"Our office is mourning the loss of Deputy Flick," said Sheriff Elder at the Tuesday morning press briefing. "Almost everybody in this agency knew him. They knew that he was not only a great deputy, he was a great father, a great husband, and a great friend to many."
Flick served with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office for 11 years. He is survived by his wife and 7-year-old twins.
"He was a sharp guy," said Jacqueline Kirby, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff's Department.
"Just a very very sharp, put together guy, very very well-liked, very very well-respected. It is a loss for our agency, it is a loss for our community. "
His death is the third in law enforcement over recent weeks in Colorado, and in a statement, Governor John Hickenlooper said, "There’s no denying the grave impact this sequence of shootings is having on our state."
"We will once more come together to provide sympathy and strength for the deputy’s loved ones and pray for the recovery of those injured," Hickenlooper's statement says. "However, we also must come together and say enough is enough. We want each officer, every deputy, to know we are grateful for their service."
The governor has ordered flags to fly at half-staff on public buildings until sunset on the day of Deputy Flick's funeral. A procession took Deputy Flick's body to the coroner's office Monday evening.
A funeral will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 1 p.m. at New Life Church, located at 11025 Voyager Parkway in Colorado Springs.
Donations for the Flick family can be made to The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Foundation, 1980 Dominion Way, Ste. 200. Colorado Springs, CO 80918.
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