A man was shot and injured by an El Paso County sheriff's deputy Friday evening during an incident at a Hobby Lobby in west Colorado Springs, but police shared little information about what led to the shooting.
The 48-year-old man, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital and was conscious when he was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance. A Colorado Springs police spokesman, Sgt. James Sokolik, did not have information about his condition, where he was shot or how many times he was shot.
The deputy was not injured, and he and another deputy at the scene were placed on leave for at least 48 hours, said El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jackie Kirby. Standard procedure is at least 48 hours of administrative leave after a deputy-involved shooting, Kirby said.
A Hobby Lobby spokeswoman did not comment on the incident except to defer to police for information.
Colorado Springs police, El Paso County sheriff's deputies and Colorado State Patrol troopers swarmed the store and parking lot around 6 p.m. Friday after reports of a shooting.
Customers inside the store who heard shots but did not see what happened said two shots were fired before they realized what was going on. Witnesses said they ran to the back of the store and out through an emergency exit, which sounded an alarm.
Laynee and Cheri Blair of Colorado Springs said they were in the store when they heard two shots, and then a third shot after a pause. They said they ran out of the store, as did other shoppers, when they realized it was gunfire.
"There was just mass panic, running out the back door," Laynee Blair said.
Chris Mannino said he was in the center of the Hobby Lobby when he heard three shots that appeared to come from the front of the store. After the first two shots, he thought something had fallen, he said. It took a few seconds to realize they were gunshots.
A man nearby him told him he was a cop and told him to get down, he said.
He fled through the back of the store, where he said employees and customers were disoriented and confused.
An off-duty police officer confirmed that he was inside the store when the incident occurred. He said he was about to go to work and declined to comment further.
Sokolik did not have information about whether the officer was involved in the incident beyond being questioned as a witness.
Witnesses said they saw a uniformed El Paso County sheriff's deputy in the store as the incident unfolded. The deputy tried to contact the suspect before the shooting.
Minutes after the shooting, the scene outside the store appeared to be chaotic. Elsewhere, two people said a cruiser hit their car while entering the Hobby Lobby parking lot.