Arvada police officer killed, suspect in custody

A police officer in Arvada was killed during a shooting as officers were trying to break up a large family disturbance, the Arvada Police Department said Sunday.

The suspect and another person injured in the shooting early Sunday were hospitalized and expected to survive, police said.

Officer Dillon Michael Vakoff, 27, and another officer were trying to separate “several belligerent and uncooperative individuals” when the suspect shot a female victim, police said in a statement. The officers and the suspect exchanged gunfire.

Vakoff was declared dead at a hospital.

Arvada Police Department
Arvada police officer Dillon Vakoff was killed Sunday, September 11, 2022.

Arvada Police Chief Link Strate identified the slain police officer as 27-year-old Dillon Michael Vakoff.

"Dillon is an example of everything that is good about a police officer," Strate said at a news conference Sunday morning.

Vakoff was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, where he served for six years, before joining the Arvada Police Department in 2019. He was training to be a SWAT officer, police said in a statement. Vakoff graduated from high school in Arvada in 2012.

The shooting suspect's name has not been made public. The investigation is ongoing.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more information.