Park County Sheriff’s deputy killed in shootout while serving eviction notice
A Park County Sheriff’s deputy was killed, and two others were injured during a shootout Wednesday morning. The deputies were serving an eviction notice at a home on 36 Iris Drive, in Bailey, when the suspect opened fire, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Corporal Nate Carrigan, who had served with the Park County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years, was shot and killed during the incident. Two other officers were hospitalized at St. Anthony Hospital: Master patrol deputy Kolby Martin, who has served 11 years with Park County, was shot multiple times in the lower extremities, and captain Mark Hancock, who has served 21 years, was grazed in the ear. Both men were transported to St. Anthony Hospital in Denver.
Park County undersheriff Monte Gore wrote that the officers were serving a high-risk eviction court order at 9:48 a.m. Sheriff Fred Wegener arrived at the scene shortly before Martin Wirth appeared on the deck briefly and returned inside.
“Officers quickly followed Wirth inside the residence as they entered,” Gore wrote. “Wirth fired upon them. Officers returned fire.”
Wirth, who reportedly had a shotgun, was pronounced dead at the scene. A former Occupy Denver activist, he sued Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the state attorney general and a judge when the home faced foreclosure, The Associated Press reported. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in September.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and SWAT Team, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Colorado State Patrol assisted in responding to the incident in the small, mountain town located between Denver and Fairplay. The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Fairplay and Alma Police departments also aided their efforts. CBI is currently leading the investigation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Corporal Carrigan’s family and friends at this time,” Gore wrote. “The response from our brother and sister law enforcement agencies, and our community, is truly heartwarming and overwhelming.”
Summit County Sheriff John Minor said the office’s investigators and SWAT team were on standby when word of the incident reached Summit Wednesday morning.
“Our absolute thoughts and prayers go out to our Park County family,” he said. “I think this makes 14 police officers shot in three months in Colorado. I don’t know what’s going on, but this is just tragically insane.”
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