Colorado – A Colorado Springs police officer was shot while conducting a traffic stop late Saturday night. Now, authorities have launched an all out manhunt to track down the suspect who pulled the trigger.
Investigators say the incident began when the officer effected a routine traffic stop near the intersection of Galley Road and Arrawanna Street. The stop occurred just before midnight on Saturday.
— EPCSheriff (@EPCSheriff) January 12, 2020
Before approaching the vehicle, the officer reportedly called for an additional unit.
“[The officer] requested for a cover officer,” said Sgt. Deborah Mynatt with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
But after the second Colorado Springs unit arrived and they approached the vehicle, that’s when the driver allegedly opened fire.
“The cover officer arrived on scene and both officers approached the vehicle and were met by gunfire from a male driver,” said Sgt. Mynatt.
One of the officers was hit in the hail of bullets, but was still able to return fire with his partner.
“They responded back with gunfire, so at least one round per officer was shot toward the driver. … The suspect fled the scene by vehicle and then immediately after crashed,” Mynatt said.
The crash she’s referring to is about a mile and a half from the site of the shooting, at Pikes Peak Avenue and Dunsmere Street.
KKTV reported that following the crash, the suspect ditched his car and began to flee on foot.
The alleged gunman is still on the loose, and now police are following every lead in an attempt to catch the man who wounded their brother.
A detailed description of the suspect has still not been released, as authorities are trying to ensure that they capture the right person and that the gunman doesn’t escape justice.
“We have to be 100 percent sure. If we have differences in description and we give that information out that might also detriment the case,” Mynatt said.
It’s currently unknown whether either of the gunfire from officers struck the suspect.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into the incident.
The mayor’s office confirmed that the wounded officer was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital and is recovering.
Our thoughts are with the CSPD officer who was shot during a routine traffic stop last night. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured and is recovering. Our police officers do a dangerous job every day and we appreciate their courage and commitment to keeping our city safe.
— Colorado Springs Mayor's Office (@MayorofCOS) January 12, 2020
The suspect should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.
Anyone with any information about the shooting that could lead to the capture and arrest of the suspect is urged to contact the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado.
This story is developing. Law Enforcement Today will continue to bring you updates on this situation as they are made public.
PIO Sokolik on scene of officer involved shooting at Galley and Arrawanna. Media staging will be the south parking lot of Safeway at Galley and Circle
— Colorado Springs Police (@CSPDPIO) January 12, 2020
Meanwhile, an officer in Los Angeles was killed on Sunday.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detective, 41-year-old Amber Leist, was killed in an accident, off-duty Sunday morning in the area of Valley Village.
The 12-year veteran was reportedly at a red light waiting to make a left turn. An elderly lady was crossing the street in the crosswalk in front of Leist’s car and fell down. Without hesitation, Leist put her car in park, got out, and assisted the elderly lady in getting across the street.
As she walked back to her car after safely delivering the woman to the other side of the road, she was struck by a vehicle.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
It was reported that the driver pulled over and tried to render aide to Leist, who was badly injured. She was transported to the hospital but died of her injuries.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said this on Twitter,
Today, @LASDHQ is grieving. We are shocked/stunned by the sudden loss of a family member. Amber Leist, a @WHDLASD detective, and 12 year veteran of LASD, was fatally struck by a vehicle in @LACity while assisting others. She was an outstanding detective who lead by example. pic.twitter.com/PcNIlAfTz8
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) January 13, 2020
Lead by example indeed. A 12-year veteran who still stopped her car, off-duty, no less, to assist a woman in crossing the street. That is a true, bona fide hero.
“She was an outstanding detective,” Sheriff Villanueva said during a news conference. “She would lead by example through her act of kindness.” The Sheriff added, “It’s unfortunate. God had a better plan for her and she was called home.”
Leist is survived by her parents and two sons, 17 and 20-years-old. The eldest is on active duty in the US Navy, and Sheriff Villanueva told reporters that they had been able to reach him to advise him of the loss of his mother.
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) January 13, 2020
Leist began her career with LA County Sheriffs working as a north county corrections officer. She also served as a deputy in Lancaster as well as a school resource officer. She was promoted to detective during the last five years spent with the West Hollywood station.
Sheriff Villanueva has relieved personnel at West Hollywood station to offer them time for bereavement. The department has also assigned a psychologist to the location.
“It’s a tough day for our department,” the Sheriff said. “We’re going to get through this as a family.”
Police officers lined the route for the procession of Leist’s body, which was escorted from Cedar Sinai Hospital to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
- READ: “SQUAD” LAUGHS DURING PRESS BRIEFING ABOUT DEAD U.S. SOLDIERS, CLAIM PTSD OVER “CONVERSATIONS ABOUT WAR”
Condolences were expressed all over Twitter.
The National Fraternal Order of Police tweeted,
“A #hero tragically lost her life today in the service of her #community. Please keep the friends and family of detective Amber Leist in your thoughts and prayers.”
A photograph of deputies standing up and lining a parking garage was posted by LA County Sheriffs. The caption read,
“We line up with a heavy heart to ensure the safe passage of our fallen sister, @WHDLASD Deputy Amber Leist.”
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said,
“LASD Detective Amber Leist represented the very best within our profession and showed her dedication to others on or off-duty. She, without hesitation, assisted someone in need. We stand with her family, her friends, and the LASD tonight.”
LASD Lancaster Station posted,
“A tragic loss today, as Detective Amber Leist lost her life after being struck by a car. Detective Leist was off duty & helping someone across the street. She was a long time Lancaster patrol deputy. Please keep her 2 boys in your prayers. We will miss you friend. #LASD #AV411”
In response, a California leadership, mentorship, and training company called Harbinger Horizon, LLC said,
“A reminder of how phenomenal and noble the profession is. Not because of what she was- a deputy, but who she was: someone who is always there when needed most, not matter when or where, even when one isn’t even called upon to act. Her final act was #love.”
On that beautiful note, rest in peace, Deputy Leist. We’ll take it from here.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!