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Colorado trooper shot on I-70 in critical condition; suspect dead

By: The Denver Post
May 8, 2014 Updated: May 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm
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photo - State trooper Eugene Hofacker. (Courtesy Colorado State Patrol)
State trooper Eugene Hofacker. (Courtesy Colorado State Patrol) 

A Colorado State Patrol trooper was shot and a suspect killed Thursday morning on Interstate 70 at the eastern end of Glenwood Canyon.

The trooper is in critical condition and has been taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, CSP reported. CSP said the trooper "stopped to assist a motorist on Interstate 70 at milepost 129. Shots were fired." The shooting happened within five minutes of the trooper pulling over the suspect's vehicle.

State patrol identified the trooper as six-year veteran Eugene Hofacker.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said the trooper who initially stopped to help was shot when he approached the driverside window. A second trooper who responded to the "motorist assist" call was the one who shot the suspect.

"Fortunately there was a second trooper to take care of the suspect before he could do any more harm to the trooper who was already injured," Vallario said Thursday afternoon at a news conference.

He said investigators didn't know yet how many shots were fired.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Vallario said the trooper is out of surgery, but there was no update on the severity of his injuries. According to the sheriff's office, the trooper "lost a lot of blood."

The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction reports that eastbound I-70 is open and that westbound lanes are expected to open later in the afternoon.

Click here to see alternate routes.

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