Sheriff Tony Spurlock of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado sadly reports the death of Deputy Sheriff Zachari Parrish.
Deputy Parrish, 29, responded to a disturbance call with other deputies and officers at the Copper Canyon Apartment Complex. Upon their arrival, they were allowed entry into an apartment where the disturbance occurred. As the deputies were contacting the suspect and conducting their investigation, he retreated to a bedroom in the apartment, obtained a rifle and commenced firing at the officers. The suspect fired more than one hundred rounds.
Deputy Parrish, who was struck multiple times by the rifle fire, fell immediately. The other officers also struck by the suspect’s gunfire, were able to retreat from the apartment. Two civilians in adjacent apartments were also struck by the suspect’s gunfire.
A multi-agency SWAT team responded to the scene and engaged the suspect. As the SWAT team entered the apartment, the suspect continued to fire at officers. The suspect, who had prior contact with law enforcement, was shot and killed.
The wounded officers and civilians were transported to the Sky Ridge Medical Center and Littleton Adventist Hospital in critical condition. Sadly, Deputy Parrish, who was transported to the Littleton Hospital, was pronounced dead.
Deputies Mike Doyle, 28; Taylor Davis, 30; Jeffrey Pelle, 32; and Tom O’Donnell, 31 were injured as well.
Spurlock said it was “almost immediately after” law enforcement arrived and was let in by someone who lived there that shooting began. All of the officers were shot very quickly and went down within seconds of each other, Spurlock continued.
“He knew we were coming, and we let him know we were there,” Spurlock said.
The roommate of the shooter is cooperating with law enforcement. He was not injured.
“Zack was a smiley kid,” Spurlock said of the fallen deputy. “[He was] eager to work, eager to serve.”
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department along with assistance from the Parker, Lone Tree and Castle Rock Police Departments are conducting the shooting investigation. The Colorado State Patrol is also providing assistance.
One of the wounded deputies is the son of the Boulder County sheriff.
— BoulderCountySheriff (@BldrCOSheriff) December 31, 2017
Zachari Parrish served the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department for seven months. He recently joined the agency after serving the Castle Rock Police Department for two years. His wife and two young daughters survive him.
Deputy Sheriff Zachari Parrish is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Sunday, December 31, 2017.