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23 Colorado Springs-area officers who have died in the line of duty since 1896

Twenty-three police officers have been killed in the line of duty in the Colorado Springs area since 1896, including five officers since 2006.

For more Gazette lists, check out our lists page

February 2018: Detective Micah Flick, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Micah Flick was shot to death during a stolen car investigation Feb. 5 in Colorado Springs. A task force had gone to the 4200 block of East Galley Road, where shots wounded Sheriff’s Sgt. Jacob Abendschan and Deputy Scott Stone, Colorado Springs Police Detective Marcus Yanez and a civilian. Also killed was the suspect, Manuel Zetina, 19, of Colorado Springs.

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Planned Parenthood Shooting

November 2015: Officer Garrett Swasey, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Police Department

Six-year Officer Garrett Swasey was one of the first officers to respond to an active shooting at Planned Parenthood in northwest Colorado Springs. Swasey and two other people were killed, and nine were wounded. Robert Dear is the suspected shooter.

AP

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July 2012: Officer Matt Tyner, Colorado Springs Police Department

Officer Matt Tyner served on the department’s Specialized Enforcement Motorcycle Unit. Tyner was chasing another motorcycle at more than 100 mph when a vehicle turned in fromt of him, and he was killed. The vehicle driver wasn’t charged; the motorcyclist suspect remains at large.

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December 2006: Officer Kenneth Jordan, Colorado Springs Police Department

Officer Kenneth Jordan, a seven-year veteran of the department, was on a team that worked on drunken driving cases. While helping two officers with a DUI driver near the 4400 block of East Fountain Boulevard, the driver shot and fatally wounded Jordan. The other officers apprehended the driver, 25-year-old Marco Lee, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

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February 2006: Detective Jared Jensen, Colorado Springs Police Department

After spotting Jereme Lamberth, a suspect in an attempted murder, Detective Jared Jensen approached the 30-year-old near Costilla Street and Hancock Avenue. Lamberth shot him twice. Responding officers rushed Jensen to a hospital, where he died. Lamberth was convicted of second-degree murder. He was sentenced in 2008 to 96 years in prison.

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October 1995: Deputy Brent Holloway, Teller County Sheriff’s Office

While waiting for fire investigators to return to a burned home west of Divide, Deputy Brent Holloway was shot once in the head. Investigators later determined that Adam Whitney Cooper had burned down the house to lure police there. Cooper was seeking revenge for years he had spent in prison. He committed suicide after being identified as the suspect.

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April 1992: Deputy Hugh Martin, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Hugh Martin was first to enter a drug dealer’s house off Western Drive in Colorado Springs during a no-knock SWAT raid. He was shot in the chest with an assault rifle. Two deputies behind Martin then shot Robert Sickich six times. Martin died, but Sickich survived. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder.

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November 1990: Lieutenant Cecilia Cipriani-Benefiel, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

Lt. Cecilia Cipriani-Benefiel was shot to death after walking in on a burglary in her Ivywild home. The eight-year veteran’s body was found the next day. The case remains unsolved.

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September 1987: Trooper Charles Fry, Colorado State Patrol

While patrolling Interstate 25, Trooper Charles Fry was issuing a citation to a vehicle he stopped when a DUI driver crashed into him. The driver, Brent Richstrew, fled but was later apprehended. Richstrew was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

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December 1982: Officer Mark Dabling, Colorado Springs Police Department

While on patrol, Officer Mark Dabling stopped a vehicle in the 300 block of West Fillmore Street. As he approached the driver’s side, the driver slipped out the passenger door and sneaked behind Dabling. The suspect, a Florida prison escapee, He shot Dabling with a carbine rifle and fled. The Florida prison escapee later was arrested and sent to the Colorado State Penitentiary for life.

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March 1981: Officer Michael Hurley, Colorado Springs Police Department

Officer Michael Hurley was in an off-duty altercation. Occupants in a nearby Eastlakes house refused to help him. Hurley returned to the disturbance,  was stabbed and died a short time later. The suspect was paroled after serving four years.

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April 1980: Officer Augustus Perreira, Colorado Springs Police Department

After stopping at a 7-Eleven in the 2500 block of Delta Drive, Officer Augustus Perreira was alerted to a disturbance. As Perreira escorted suspect Seth Buckmaster outside, the man shot the officer. The mortally wounded Perreira returned fire, hitting Buckmaster. The killer was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

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December 1975: Detective Sergeant Donald Laabs, Manitou Springs Police Department

While driving home in his police cruiser, Detective Sgt. Donald Laabs was shot eight times with a pistol. His body was found in the southbound lanes of Interstate 25 near Arvada Street. Although the primary suspect was shot to death after being chased by Pueblo police and FBI agents, the case remains officially unsolved.

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December 1975: Officer Harry Allen, Colorado Springs Police Department

A traffic investigator, Officer Harry Allen was sent to a nighttime rollover at Powers Boulevard and Platte Avenue. Without police lights, Allen had to investigate in the dark. While taking measurements on the road, a car southbound on Powers hit and killed him. The driver was cited for careless driving and fined $25.

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August 1975: Officer Dennis Ives, Colorado Springs Police Department

While en route to help with the Pageant of the Rockies Parade in Colorado Springs, Officer Dennis Ives crashed his patrol motorcycle on Interstate 25, south of Uintah Street. Ives was found dead by officers several hours later.

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May 1975: Officer Bernard Carter, Colorado Springs Police Department

During a riot by high school students, police helicopter pilot Bernard Carter and a civilian observer were helping officers from the air. As the riot was ending, Carter advised dispatch that he was leaving. Minutes later, a helicopter crash was reported off South Carefree Circle. Witnesses said the helicopter appeared to have lost power, and as it was diving toward nearby homes, the pilot “hopped” over the houses and crashed into the street.

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November 1953: Officer Richard Burchfield, Colorado Springs Police Department

On Thanksgiving night, Officer Richard Burchfield was looking for a bank robbery suspect. He radioed dispatch that he was headed back to the police station but never showed up. He was found dead in his patrol car, shot seven times. Police believe Burchfield might have been killed by a suspect he had in his patrol car. No arrest ever was made.

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September 1949: Patrolman Harold Bechtelheimer, Colorado State Patrol

While patrolling U.S. 85-87 north of Colorado Springs, Patrolman Harold Bechtelheimer stopped a speeding vehicle. As he approached the vehicle, one of the two occupants sneaked behind him with a gun. Bechtelheimer struck the man with his flashlight but was shot in the chest. Both suspects were sentenced to life in prison.

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June 1941: Detective Sergeant George Kaltenberger, Colorado Springs Police Department

While at the city then-police station, Detective Sgt. George Kaltenberger’s service pistol fell from his holster and discharged, wounding him. Kaltenberger died one day after his 24th anniversary with the department.

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December 1923: Undersheriff Marion Sanders, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

While Undersheriff Marion Sanders and a deputy were trying to intercept a delivery of illegal alcohol, their vehicle broke down, and they stopped at a service station. While trying to crank the engine, Sanders’ service revolver fell to the ground and discharged a round into his stomach, mortally wounding him.

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April 1921: Night Marshal John Lindamood, Fountain Police Department

While working a night shift, Marshal John Lindamood encountered a group intending to rob Fountain National Bank. Lindamood apparently followed one of the suspects and tried to talk to him before being shot once in the heart. The suspects escaped but left behind tools and a shotgun. Two people driving through Fountain en route to Pueblo found his body hours later. The case remains unsolved.

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July 1918: Detective John Rowan, Colorado Springs Police Department

On a tip that the notorious bank-robbing Lewis-Jones Gang had been spotted at a gas station in Colorado Springs, Chief of Detectives John Rowan and a group of officers rushed to apprehend them. As Rowan approached the robbers’ vehicle, he was shot and killed instantly. Some gang members were apprehended and others killed in gunbattles with other police agencies.

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June 1896: Officer Benjamin Bish, Colorado Springs Police Department

On a morning patrol, Officer Benjamin Bish found two men trying to break into a store from an alley between Tejon Street and Cascade Avenue. He was escorting them to the police station when one shot Bish, mortally wounding him. Bish returned fire before dying. His killer, William Clark, committed suicide in a coal shed soon afterward, and Pat Coyne was arrested four hours later and confessed that he was an accomplice. He was sentenced to life in prison.

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